British road race champion Peter Kennaugh has admitted he came across ‘like a total idiot’ in tweets aimed at Emma Pooley. Pooley questioned why no women’s Team Sky had been set up and in a subsequently deleted tweet, Kennaugh responded that she should “Stop being so self-centred and get over it.”
Speaking to The Guardian about Shane Sutton, Pooley said she wished more questions had been asked of Dave Brailsford too, as it was while he was running British Cycling that Team Sky had been created for the men but with no equivalent for the women.
“Why didn’t anyone ask how it could be that a publicly funded body like British Cycling joined together with a privately funded team – Sky – on a mission to get a British winner of the Tour de France within five years? Why wasn’t there a similar plan for the women? The women’s Giro d’Italia was the most important race for women but where was the funding for that? I came second twice and no one from British Cycling offered to put together a team to help me win it.”
Sky Italia originally owned 25 per cent of Team Sky but sold its holding to 21st Century Fox in 2013. A major sports broadcaster in Italy, it may be that even Sky Italia didn’t see commercial value in setting up a team to compete in the women’s Giro.
This was essentially the point made by Kennaugh in another deleted tweet – although he seems entirely unaware of Sky Italia’s involvement. “Emma pooley why would sky put money into the women’s giro that absolutely noone in the uk has absolutely no idea about,” he said.
After removing both tweets, Kennaugh has since said:
I've re-read the tweet i deleted and realise i came across like a total idiot im sorry to anyone i may have offended in how they were worded
— Peter kennaugh (@Petekennaugh) April 28, 2016