Peter Kennaugh received a hero’s welcome when he arrived back home in the Isle of Man the morning after he rode to victory in the team pursuit.

Around 100 fans gave him a huge cheer as he walked through the arrivals area of the Island’s airport holding his gold medal. He is the first Manx-born Olympic champion since Sidney Swann who was part of Great Britain’s rowing eights team at the 1912 Games in Stockholm.

Among the welcoming party at the airport was Clare Christian, President of Tynwald – the Isle of Man’s parliament.

Kennaugh, 23, joined in as the crowd sang an impromptu rendition of the Island’s national anthem and then gave an emotional speech in which he expressed his thanks for the reception.

He said: “This means everything to me, to have so many people welcoming me home shows what a close-knit community we have in the Isle of Man.”

He then held his gold medal aloft and said ‘this is for you guys’ which prompted a huge cheer from the crowd that included fans of all ages. He spent an hour signing autographs and having his photo taken and passed his gold medal to fans – much to the delight of the many children who had turned up to meet their hero.

Kennaugh also revealed for the first time that an injury which forced him to abandon the Giro d’Italia almost destroyed his Olympic dreams. A niggling injury to his left hip had been causing him problems since October last year, but it worsened during the Giro and severe pain forced him to abandon the race just a few kilometres into stage 17.

With the first round of the Olympic team pursuit just 10 weeks away, Kennaugh feared that the injury could prevent him riding at the Games.

“I was at the side of the road in tears watching the peloton go by,” he said. “It was probably one of the the lowest points of my career.”

Kennaugh then had weeks of intensive physiotherapy and tried to spend as much time on the turbo trainer the injury would allow. While the rest of the team pursuit squad trained on the track, Kennaugh did turbo trainer sessions in the track centre as it was too painful for him to ride out of the saddle.

The injury finally started to settle down four or five weeks before the Games at a training camp in Majorca.

Kennaugh said he was grateful for the support of his family, physios and coaches who never lost faith in his ability to recover in time for London 2012. But he said that the injury meant that he was not in peak condition at the Games, and with Geraint Thomas also suffering with a stomach bug for the week before the team pursuit, Kennaugh believes that the gold medal quartet could have broken the 3min 50sec barrier had he and Thomas not been hit by injury and illness.

























Peter
Kennaugh is draped in the Manx flag by Clare Christian, President of Tynwald -
the Isle of Man’s parliament





Fans hold up a ‘Golden Boy’ poster as Peter Kennaugh arrives at Isle of Man Airport





Peter Kennaugh signs autographs for young fans





Fans show their support for Isle of Man cycling hero Peter Kennaugh





London 2012 team pursuit gold medallist Peter Kennaugh draped in the Manx flag as he arrives at Isle of Man Airport

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Men’s road race start list



Women’s road race start list



Men’s time trial start list



Women’s time trial start list



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Great Britain track team confirmed



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London 2012: Event guides



Mountain bike event guide on
www.mbr.co.uk



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Olympic Games women’s time trial: Who will win?



Olympic time trial routes announced



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Olympic Games men’s road race: Who will win?



Download detailed Olympic road race route map



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Reade and Phillips kicks off Olympic BMX campaigns



Sir Chris Hoy wins sixth Olympic gold



Trott stunned at double Olympic gold



Pendleton ends career on a high



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Kenny stuns Bauge in sprint to win second gold



Bronze for Clancy while Pendleton marches on



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Track day two: Pendleton and team pursuiters deliver more gold



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Cycling events medal table



Women’s road race: Armitstead wins silver as Vos strikes gold



Men’s road race: Vinokourov wins as Cavendish misses out

London 2012: Photos



Track day six (evening) by Andy Jones



Track day six by Phil O’Connor



Track day six by Graham Watson



Track day five by Andy Jones



Track day five by Graham Watson



Track day four evening session by Andy Jones



Track day four evening session by Graham Watson



Track day four morning session by Andy Jones



Track day four morning session by Phil O’Connor



Track day three evening session by Andy Jones



Track day three evening session by Phil O’Connor



Track day three morning session by Andy Jones



Track day two by Phil O’Connor



Track day two by Graham Watson



Track day one by Andy Jones



Track day one by Phil O’Connor


Track day one by Graham Watson




Men’s time trial by Graham Watson



Women’s time trial by Graham Watson



Pendleton track training



Women’s road race by Andy Jones



Women’s road race by Graham Watson



Men’s road race by Andy Jones



Men’s road race by Phil O’Connor



Men’s road race by Graham Watson



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London 2012: Podcasts



Cycling Weekly podcasts on Soundcloud

London 2012: TV schedule

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Related links



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London-Surrey Cycle Classic photo gallery



Olympic road race route officially revealed



London 2012 tickets on sale from March

 

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