Bradley Wiggins and Simon Gerrans both paid tribute to their former Team Sky colleague Pete Kennaugh after his decision to take an “indefinite break” from professional cycling.
Kennaugh, who has been riding for Bora-hansgrohe since 2018 following seven years with Team Sky, announced his decision last week and said it was due to “ongoing mental health issues”.
He was a member of the team who clinched the pursuit gold at the 2012 Olympics and was also a key part of the efforts to win the Tour de France for Chris Froome in 2013 and 2015.
Wiggins rode alongside Kennaugh for five years at Team Sky and – speaking on the latest episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show, available on all major podcast providers on Monday morning – had nothing but praise for the 29-year-old.
“I watched Pete grow up through the academy system at British Cycling and he was immensely talented,” said Wiggins. “Junior world champion on the track as a kid. Seemed to have everything in front of him.
“Team pursuit Olympic champion, stage win at the Dauphine, leader’s jersey at the Vuelta, so he has had a good run at things but there are other things at play here that have forced his decision which have been well-documented and well-reported.
“You have to wish him all the best really and praise him on the career he has had… he’s a great young lad and I’m sure whatever he does now he will be successful at.
“He has had moments of brilliance over the years riding for Sky, but I think his family are far more important to him and his children than this life of professional racing. Sometimes that line can get a bit skewed and when you are in it, you can think that this is the be all and end all and it is do or die – and it feels like life and death sometimes when you are in it. The minute you can draw yourself out of it and get some perspective, you realise that there is much more out there to do.
” And he has taken that decision and good on him for having the balls to do it this early in the season and be so public with why he has done it as well.”
Wiggins was joined for the fourth episode of season two of The Bradley Wiggins Show by Gerrans, who ended his 15-year pro career last year. The Australian also rode alongside Wiggins and Kennaugh in the first two years of Team Sky.
“I raced with him quite a bit throughout 2010 and 2011 and I remember him being a fantastic young guy and obviously in the years following that we crossed paths at many races and he was a guy I always said hello to and always checked in with,” Gerrans said.