Peter Kennaugh says he needs to find 'happiness and enthusiasm’ as he takes indefinite break

The Brit said he has struggled on and off the bike

Peter Kennaugh will step back from professional cycling (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Peter Kennaugh says he needs to “rediscover happiness, motivation and enthusiasm” as he takes an indefinite break from professional cycling.

Kennaugh’s Bora-Hansgrohe team announced on Friday morning (April 5) that he would take a step back from the sport due to ongoing mental health issues.

The 29-year-old said he has made the decision to take time to recover.

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In an Instagram post, Kennaugh said: “The time has come where it is now necessary to become one with my decision to take a break from professional cycling.

“After many years of struggling on and off the bike, I have made this decision, not only for me, but also for my family.

“I need to concentrate on the person that I want to be going forward and to rediscover happiness, motivation and enthusiasm in my day-to-day life.”

Kennaugh, a double British champion and two-time Critérium du Dauphiné stage winner, joined Bora in 2018 after eight seasons with Team Sky.

Last season Kennaugh took an absence from racing in the early season, saying he “felt quite down.”

After finishing the Great Ocean Road Race, he rested from the end of January until the Tour de Romandie in April.

He returned to ride a strong final month of racing, finishing third in Tre Valli Varesine and 16th in the World Championships.

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After announcing his break, he added: “I can’t thank enough the people who have helped me through the last couple of years, especially the last couple of weeks.

“With hope, I am excited for the years to come and the fresh challenges that lie ahead in and out of our sport.”

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.”

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.