Chris Froome may have crashed out of the Tour de France, but another British Team Sky rider has taken the overall win in a stage race on the Continent this July as Peter Kennaugh today sealed his overall victory in the Tour of Austria.
The 25-year-old Manxman took the lead on last Sunday’s opening stage and never relinquished it, ending the race with an advantage of 1 minute 3 second over Movistar’s Javier Moreno.
Katusha’s Marco Haller won today’s final stage on a sprinter-friendly circuit in capital city Vienna, and with rain falling the final GC times were taken as the bell rang to signify the start of the final lap, ensuring Kennaugh’s overall victory.
It’s his second stage race win of 2014 after his success in Italy in March where he topped the overall standings at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali.
He followed that up by last month winning the British national road race title in Monmouthshire.
“I’m really happy to be able to finish off the race and take the win," Kennaugh told TeamSky.com following the final stage today.
“Heading into this year I really wanted to win a pro bike race as I was going into my fifth year as a pro without a victory. It was really good to do that at Coppi Bartali and then the nationals.
“I think I got a bit more confidence from those results and I had some good form after the Tour de Suisse. It was just nice to use it here and I’m happy I could finish it off.
“On the first day I wasn’t thinking much about the GC. I felt good and went for the stage and it’s gone from there really.
“The team have been really good. It was nice to see everyone get stronger each day. We had a few teething problems early on but on each stage it’s got better and better.
“We’ve finished the race and gelled really well. It’s been good to be a part of,” he added.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.