British champion Peter Kennaugh abandons Tour de France

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British champion Peter Kennaugh abandons Tour de France

Kennaugh climbs off the bike on stage 16 after suffering from illness

British champion Peter Kennaugh has become the first Team Sky rider to abandon the 2015 Tour de France, climbing off the bike on stage 16.

Kennaugh entered the Tour in good form, on the back of a stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine and his successful defence of his national title.

But the Manx rider has suffered from illness at the Tour, and finally admitted defeat on the road to Gap after a fast-paced start in the heat.

Peter Kennaugh abandoned the Tour de France on stage 16 (pic: Sirotti)

He is the second British rider to abandon the race, after national time trial champion Alex Dowsett succumbed to injury last week.

It means Team Sky will be without one of their mountain domestiques when the race reaches the Alps too, but they are not alone – only IAM Cycling, LottoNL-Jumbo, Europcar and MTN-Qhubeka still have their full complement of nine riders.

Olympic team pursuit champion Kennaugh, 26, in his second Tour de France, had been placed 146th on the general classification prior to the stage.

Team Sky confirmed his departure from the race, following the announcement by race radio, adding their own update after the stage.

Team doctor Richard Usher explained: “Pete has been suffering from a respiratory illness for the last two days.

“He had been recovering and felt better ahead of the start, but the combination of the heat today and the fast start in the peloton made it extremely difficult and he felt like he was lacking power in his legs.

“He’s obviously very disappointed and will now head home to rest and recover.”

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