Peter Kennaugh relishing prospect of racing Tour of California after illness

Team Sky's Peter Kennaugh ready to race at the Tour of California this weekend, after overcoming sickness this spring

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Peter Kennaugh is ready to “get stuck into racing” at the Tour of California this weekend, despite his form being unknown, after spending much of the last couple of months out ill.

The Manxman fell ill just after Milan-San Remo in mid-March and was off the bike at home for most of April. He returned to form at the Tour de Yorkshire at the end of last month, where he finished 37th overall and helped his Sky teammate Nicolas Roche into second.

“California that will be a bit of an unknown,” Kennaugh told Cycling Weekly. “There’s no reason I can’t get stuck into a bit of racing and sort of try and get in the mix a bit there, but at the same time I’m not going to set my sights too high.

“I just want to go there, get back to bike racing really, trying to perform but not put too much pressure on myself.”

Watch: Peter Kennuagh's Tour de France Pinarello Dogma F8

Despite a successful start to the season, in which the 26-year-old secured victories in Australia at the Great Ocean Road Race and a stage of the Herald Sun Tour and second overall, illness forced him almost completely off the bike.

“Through Tirreno [Adriatico, in March] I had general sort of sickness, a cold and stuff, and then carried that through to San Remo. I came home after San Remo and got quite ill.

“I’ve been really struggling, just sort of felt really empty on the bike,” he said.

“It happens it seems every April it seems, I come down with this bug, low in energy and feeling really empty — it happens almost every year and I don’t really know what it is.

“From past experiences from this time of year I know I’ve just got to weather it and then I kind of always get things back on track in May, and then go into June and July really good.”

After California, it is undecided whether the Team Sky rider will race at the Tour de Suisse or Criterium du Dauphiné — the latter he won a stage at last year.

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