Last weekend we were treated to a behind the scenes insight into the life of Olympic Gold medalist Peter Kennaugh, as he prepares for the season ahead in California.
The majority of articles concerning our very own Olympian begin with a brief lesson on the correct pronunciation of Kennaugh. We’re pretty sure however that you don’t need that, so let’s get straight to it.
After winning an Olympic Gold, a commonwealth Silver, two consecutive UK Road Championships and riding down the Champs Élysées as part of the Tour de France winning team of 2013, we have to beg the question, what’s left?! That doesn’t stop Pete however. The First Manx Olympic Gold medalist in over 100 years is currently preparing for the new season in LA with fellow Olympic medalist and Manxman Mark Cavendish and Tour de France champion and SPOTY winner Geraint Thomas, it’s a hard life, hey?!
Pete started the takeover on Friday morning, with his customary morning coffee, followed by a relaxed ride along Venice Beach with his mini-me, son Axel in tow. The Kennaugh family then made the trip to Staples Centre to watch Los Angeles Clippers take on the Golden State Warriors with a half time show from Coolio, before his training schedule ramped up on Saturday.
The day started with a five hour ride which Pete describes as the perfect time to under-fuel with the aim of burning off some of his winter insulation. A banana and protein bar later, we got to have a look at his stats for the ride – the non-techies amongst you might want to skip to the next paragraph! With an average power output of 230 watts and max power of 727 watts Pete managed to burn two thousand calories.
At his average speed of 26 km/h he managed to travel a distance of 130 km. To put that into more visual terms, if Pete had left after dinner at home in Laxey at 8pm, he would have been able to ride to the Lake District (let’s just assume he can ride on water for a minute…) AND all the way back, with enough time and kilometres left to get him back into Douglas for a ‘Shag on the Prom’ at Peggy’s… BEFORE CLOSING TIME!!
Next up, we were treated to a look inside the fridge of a pro cyclist. The contents was mainly healthy and nutritional with the exception of the naughty little pastries hidden away on the bottom. He even had red-top milk, assumed to be skimmed – because we’re Manx as the hills – to be extra healthy.
Sunday entailed much of the same for Pete, with another five hour ride, this time focused more on Vo2 Max efforts, designed to increase the rate at which his body can transfer oxygen to his muscles, with the aim of improving performance in race situations for the long season ahead. His 3000 meters of vertical ascent translates in Manx terms to riding from the promenade to the top of Snaefell and back five times (!!!!???!!!!!!).
After his ride, Pete returned to his base for the week for a meal with 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas. Food was prepared by flamboyant chef, Joey Giorgianni; Winter burrata salad, followed by Piedmontese steak – all the way from the hills of North-Western Italy – coincidentally the same hills that Pete will hope to race later this year with his team BORA Hansgrohe, in the first of cycling’s Grand Tour’s, the Giro d’Italia.
Pete ended his Gef takeover by asking his guests to summarise our fair Isle in one word; Geraint Thomas offering a humorous insight into his relationship with our very own Manx Missile…
A massive thank you to Pete for a fascinating insight into both his personal and professional life. Wishing him the very best of luck from all at Team Gef for the season ahead!
If you missed out on Pete’s Instagram takeover, head to @gefmongooseiom and hit up our highlights reel where you’ll find the full unadulterated action!