Great Britain Academy rider Pete Kennaugh finished third in the Girobio, the amateur version of the Giro d’Italia, after a puncture on the final section of dirt road, 15km from the finish, robbed him of any chance of victory.
Kennaugh started the final stage around the roads of the Eroica sportive, second overall, just 11 seconds behind Italy’s Manuele Caddeo.
Thanks to excellent work from team mates Jonny McEvoy, Erick Rowsell and Mark Christian, 20 year-old Kennaugh was able to stay with the leaders on all the other dirt road sections and was ready to fight for overall victory on the last section. Unfortunately the puncture meant it was not to be.
The tough Manx rider gave it everything to get back to the leaders, as Cycling Weekly saw from the Great Britain team car. He caught Caddeo in the final two kilometres and even did a turn on the front in the final kilometre. Unfortunately Colombia’s Cayento Sarimento had managed to get in a break, get back up after a crash on the descent, and snatched victory, after nine days of intense racing, from both Catteo and Kennaugh by a handful of seconds.
Caddeo was second overall at three seconds, with Kennaugh third at 14 seconds.
Only 72 out of 164 starters made it to the finish in the heart of the Chianti countryside. Jonny McEvoy finished 67th overall, at 1-23-00. Rowsell and Christian both finished but were cruelly outside the maximum time limit set by the organisers. Both Luke Rowe and Andrew Fenn pulled out during the race due to illness.
“It hurts to lose like that but it’s been an amazing experience and I’ve learnt so much about my self and about racing,” Kennaugh told Cycling Weekly.
“I didn’t really think I’d be a contender overall but when I was up there I gave it everything to try and win.”
Kennaugh and the other riders on the Great Britain Academy will now rest up at their base in Tuscany before travelling to Britain on Friday for the national championships. The British and European professionals should b careful, these lads have talent, know how to race hard and will have excellent from after the Girobio.