A BMX rider from the age of six, Kennaugh rose through the British Cycling system to collate an impressive list of early successes.
They included gold in the scratch race at the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships in 2006, European junior gold in the team pursuit in 2006 and 2007 and a team pursuit gold at the UEC Under-23 European Track Championships in 2007 and 2008.
By 2008, Kennaugh’s prowess on the road was also becoming evident - he had won the Junior National Road Race Championships a year earlier and added the under-23 title in 2008, a season when he also won the GP Capodarco and the Trofeo Internazionale Bastianelli.
Before the end of 2008, he also won his first track medal in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, in the points race in Cali, Colombia as he continued to develop impressively on road and the boards.
He started 2009 by retaining the British National Madison Championship he had won with fellow Manxman Mark Cavendish 12 months earlier; this time with Mark Christian. In the 2008-09 UCI Track Cycling World Cup season, there was a team pursuit gold and Madison silver and, on the road at the GiroBio, Kennaugh won stage three and finished third on general classification.
The 2010 road season with Team Sky was about gaining experience for Kennaugh and there were top 50 overall finishes in major stage races the Bayern Rundfahrt, Criterium du Dauphine and Tour of Poland and a Grand Tour debut in the Vuelta a Espana.
Countdown to Olympic gold
By 2011, the countdown to London had begun. Track success included a third national Madison title in four years, with Luke Rowe, a gold at the UEC European Track Championships team pursuit and bronze in the team pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
On the road, however, Kennaugh continued to make huge strides, earning a late call into the Sky team for the Giro d’Italia and recording his first Grand Tour finish in 86th place. Third overall in the Route du Sud, Kennaugh also put the disappointment at missing out on Tour de France selection behind him with a fifth place overall in the Tour of Poland in August.
The 2012 campaign was primarily about the track for Kennaugh. Having set a new world record in winning the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Kennaugh joined Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Geraint Thomas for the Olympics at Lee Valley VeloPark and twice set new world records on the way to beating Australia for gold.
Olympics success behind him, Kennaugh returned to road duties in 2013 in impressive fashion, making his Tour de France debut and helping fellow British rider Chris Froome win the prestigious event for Team Sky.
Kennaugh helped Froome win the Tour of Oman in February but really proved his value in the Criterium du Dauphine in which he helped Froome finish first, winning selection for the Tour where his work in the mountains was crucial to his team mate’s win.
The summer of 2014 saw another important landmark for Kennaugh, his first professional win at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali in March and his first British National Road Race Championships in June, beating team mate Ben Swift into second.
Austrian tour win
Despite such form, Kennaugh was not selected for the Tour de France, instead riding - and winning - the Tour of Austria after winning the opening stage and holding the lead for the next seven days.
Kennaugh then represented the Isle of Man at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where he won silver in the points race and finished eighth in the road race, before ending the season by helping Froome come second at the Vuelta a Espana.
The highlights of 2015 included winning the opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphine before helping Froome clinch the race overall and defending his British National Road Race Championship in a thrilling duel with fellow Manxman Cavendish. Kennaugh also rode the Tour de France but struggled with illness and withdrew on stage 16.
The 2016 season looked likely to feature Kennaugh again providing important assistance for Froome at the Tour de France and Olympic Games and started strongly in Australia, with victory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and victory on stage one of the Herald Sun Tour.
But a crash on stage three of the Tour of California in May left Kennaugh with a broke collarbone, ruling him out of the Tour although he returned in time for the 2016 Vuelta in Spain where he rode in support of Chris Froome and was part of the Team Sky line-up that won the opening team time trial.
Away from the Bike
Cycling is in Kennaugh’s blood with brother Tim a former professional and now coach, and both parents and grandfather all cyclists. His first club, the Manx Road Club, was founded by Kennaugh’s grandfather.
Having lived in Italy, when with the Great Britain Academy, Kennaugh now splits his time between the Isle of Man and Italy.
Kennaugh ranks his 2012 Olympic victory as his career highlight as he became the first Manxman to win gold since rower Sidney Swann in 1912. He was given a hero’s welcome on his return to the island with Clare Christian, President of Tynwald – the Isle of Man’s parliament - in attendance.
Kennaugh lists his hobbies as collecting watches and DJ-ing and claims that were he not a cyclist, he would be a DJ.
|Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (UK)||Points race||Silver|
|Olympic Games, London (UK)||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Melbourne (Australia)||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, London (UK)||Team pursuit||Silver|
|UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Apeldoorn (Netherlands)||Team pursuit||Bronze|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Denmark||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Beijing (China)||Madison||Silver|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Cali (Colombia)||Points||Silver|
|UEC European Track Championships, Poland||Under-23 team pursuit||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships, Germany||Under-23 team pursuit||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships, Germany||Junior team pursuit||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships, Germany||Junior scratch||Silver|
|UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships||Scratch, Bronze, Team Pursuit||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships||Junior team pursuit||Gold|