Peter Kennaugh

Peter Kennaugh

The team pursuit and road race champion believes that the best attitude to have is to "never give up."

Raise Your Game: You're on the start line and you're waiting for the starter's flag. How do you control your nerves before a big race?


Peter Kennaugh

15 June 1989

Isle of Man, Great Britain


100% ME


  • 1st - Stage 3, GiroBio, Italy (2009)
  • 1st - British National Madison Championship, with Mark Christian (2009)
  • 1st - Road race (Under 23) - National Championship, (2008 & 2009)
  • 3rd - Road race (Elite) - National Championships, (2009)
  • Gold - Team pursuit, UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Copenhagen (2009)
  • Gold - Team pursuit (Under 23), European Track Championships (2007)
  • Gold - Team pursuit (Junior), European Track Championships (2006 and 2007)
  • Gold - Scratch Race (Junior), World Track Championships (2006)

Peter Kennaugh: A lot of people get nervous before a race, but I get excited. One day races are different to stage races because you don't know what's going to happen and you don't know how you're going to feel. In stage races you've got the stress and the pressure to perform day in day out for a number of days, so different types of races are different as far as nerves and pressure are concerned.

RYG: What types of food do you need to make sure you're eating before a race?

PK: Today I had some porridge oats, rice cereal and some low-lactose milk because it's easy to digest. After that I had some pasta with olive oil. I pretty much stick to the same routine every day. All cyclists seem to have their own routines and rituals when they wake up.

RYG: How important is the role of the crowd when you're looking for motivation to keep going?

PK: The crowd on the finishing circuit is immense. Every time you go through, all the pain goes away because you get such a buzz and a good feeling. It gives you motivation to ride on to try and get a good result.

RYG: What's more important attitude or talent?

PK: Some riders can try harder than others and some can suffer more than others. I don't think it's down to anything I do off the bike, as I live quite a normal life. I train really hard, I race really hard and the main thing is a 'never give up' attitude. Some riders are too quick to say "That's it, I've had enough," but if you make sure you never give up, then I think that's the best attitude you can have.

RYG: Do you set goals throughout the season?

PK: I speak to my coach quite a lot and he'll target certain parts of the season or certain races. You'll go to some races where there's no pressure and you might ride and do a job for the team, which is really good because you can enjoy the race and take everything in. Then there'll be other races where you have specific targets and you want to perform.

RYG: What advice would you give to young people wanting to follow in your footsteps?

 Peter Kennaugh, British National road race Under 23 champion 2009. Copyright: British Cycling

PK: I started competing when I was ten-years-old and I've always wanted to win, but looking back I would say to anyone who's starting off, or is a little younger than I am, to really try to enjoy it. Don't take things too seriously. If you have the opportunity to go out with your mates instead of training, maybe do that because as soon as you get to the age of 20 or older, and you're talking about being a professional and making money, then it starts to get serious. Enjoy it, don't be too serious and make the most of your childhood.

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