Peter Kennaugh: British Road Race champion 'wanted it most'

Newly-crowned British National Road Race Champion Peter Kennaugh believes he won Sunday's race in Abergavenny because he "wanted it the most".

The 26-year-old from the Isle of Man overtook Team Sky team-mate Ben Swift on the line for a dramatic victory.

"It feels amazing to finally win as for years I've been second, third, fourth," he told BBC Sport.

Kennaugh is the second Manx winner in successive years after Mark Cavendish claimed the title in 2013.

"I came here today really focussed and really concentrated," he said.

From left to right - Ben Swift; Peter Kennaugh; Simon Yates

"In the past I have left my legs on the road and done a bit too much early on but this year I rode tactically well.

"I was prepared to gamble to lose the race in order to win and it paid off".

Defending champion Cavendish missed the race with bronchitis and Sir Bradley Wiggins was absent because of injury, so the scene was set for double Olympic track champion Geraint Thomas to win on home soil.

But he could only finish eight as Simon Yates of Orica Green Edge followed Kennaugh and Swift across the line, pipping Wales and Team Sky's Luke Rowe for third place.

Kennaugh will now turn his attention to the Commonwealth Games after being omitted from Team Sky's line-up to compete at this year's Tour de France.

Peter Kennaugh
Kennaugh will represent the Isle of Man on both the track and road in Glasgow

"For me it is a great shame to miss the Tour - it would have been one of the highlights of my career to ride it in the national champion jersey, but I will make up for it in Glasgow.

"I wanted this race badly whether I was in the Tour or not," he said.

Kennaugh won a gold medal for Great Britain at the London Olympics in the team pursuit, but he could compete in the individual pursuit, scratch and points races and road race at the Commonwealth Games.

"I've got the Tour of Austria next week, then I will concentrate on the track ahead of Glasgow," he continued.

"It will be good to see what I can do having been off it for a few years and then there is the road race where it will be me and Cav (Mark Cavendish).

"Whether I am working for him or I get my own opportunities it will be great event."

Kennaugh is looking forward to wearing the Manx colours again instead of Team Sky.

"It really does take you back to your routes when you were a junior. It brings back a lot of fond memories," he added.

"It is always nice to be around the Isle of Man team and the guys you grew up with."

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