Sir Bradley Wiggins has praised Peter Kennaugh as the Brit takes an indefinite break from professional cycling.
Kennaugh announced last week he would be stepping back from the sport due to ongoing mental health issues.
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The 2012 Tour de France winner and Kennaugh rode together at Team Sky from 2010 until Wiggins retired from the sport in 2015.
Speaking on his podcast The Bradley Wiggins Show by Eurosport, Wiggins said: “I watched Pete grow up through the academy at British Cycling and he was tremendously talented on the track as a kid.
“We have to wish him all the best 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.
“When you can draw yourself out of [the sport] and get a bit of perspective, you realise there’s much more out there to do and he’s taken that decision.
“Good on him for having the balls to do it this early in the season and being so public with why he’s done it.”
Last week, Kennaugh and his Bora-Hansgrohe team announced that the Manxman would take an indefinite break to give him time to recover.
In 2018, Kennaugh took an absence from racing in the early season, saying he “felt quite down.”
He added that the lack of motivation made it difficult to train.
The 29-year-old is a double British national champion, has won two stages of the Critérium du Dauphiné and taken victory in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
Kennaugh is also an Olympic champion, having been part of the London 2012 team pursuit squad.
In an Instagram post, Kennaugh said he needed to “resdiscover happiness, motivation and enthusiasm.”
Bora-Hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk said: “We thank Peter for his contribution to the team and we wish him well in his recovery process.
“We look forward to him making a full return to professional cycling in the future.”