Sky’s Peter Kennaugh trails Farnese Vini’s Andrea Guardini by 6,000 kilometres ahead of the Giro d’Italia. The two riders are at the extreme ends of distance covered in road races so far this season.
According to CQ Ranking, Guardini tops the list of all pros at 6214.5 kilometres so far this year. Out of all the Giro participants, Kennaugh is the lowest at 188 kilometres, though he did win a track World title along the way.
“It does worry me a bit, but at the end of the day what can I do?” Kennaugh told Cycling Weekly. “There’s not point of letting it affect me. This is all just part of the build up to [the Olympics], which is what I’m trying to think of really, the bigger picture.
“At the same time, you put a bit of pressure on yourself because you don’t want to let down the team. You want to try to do your best here, but you can only do what you can do!”
Kennaugh helped break the track team pursuit world record and win a gold medal in the team pursuit in Melbourne one month ago. However, he’s only raced on the road in the Three Days of West Flanders. He pulled out of the final leg due to a problem with his shoe’s cleat.
“It makes it a bit more nervous,” he added. “You just don’t know where you are.”
“In my opinion, that’s too little,” Guardini told Cycling Weekly. “Maybe I’ve got a lot, but need to get into the rhythm by racing. It’s hard to get going immediately [in a race] by training at home… He’s been racing on the track, he’ll have his rhythm, but I think you need racing days.”
The 22-year-old Italian piled on the kilometres racing in the warm climates of Malaysia, Qatar, Oman and Turkey this year. He’d gladly trade his six Tour of Langkawi stage wins for one in his first Grand Tour. He wants to take on Kennaugh’s team-mate, Mark Cavendish and the other top sprinters to win in the Giro. “I have in my legs a win,” he said. “It will be hard to find a good position, but first that’s my goal.”
While Guardini was in Turkey, Kennaugh – only three days younger – was at home on the Isle of Man. He had a break after the Worlds, but in the three weeks he had to train, a sore throat forced him to stay in for eight days.
“I don’t think about it or look into who’s done the most kilometres,” Kennaugh added. “What’s the point in doing all of that, there’s no point in wasting energy over it.”