Olympic gold medallist Peter Kennaugh will fulfil a dream when he lines up for Team Sky at the Tour de France Grand Départ in Corsica on Saturday.
The 24-year-old British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme rider, part of Great Britain’s team pursuit winning quartet at London 2012, makes his debut in La Grande Boucle as he aims to help Chris Froome win the yellow jersey.
Kennaugh is one of four Britons in the nine-man team, with leader Froome plus Ian Stannard and fellow team pursuiter Geraint Thomas.
"All the work that I have done through the winter since January, all the training and hard racing, to finally get picked is good and I can't wait to get on with it," said Kennaugh, who completed his build up for the Tour with fourth at the British Road Race Championships in Glasgow.
"I'm really happy to be one of the nine guys selected from such a strong team," Kennaugh said. “It is something I did not really target at the start of the season, but I have come into a late run of form, and to be selected is a dream come true.
"I had a good idea I would be in it [after the Dauphine], but it is nice to hear you have officially been selected. To be a year ahead of where we want to be is good," added Kennaugh, with Team Sky having achieved its goal to win the Tour de France within five years after Sir Bradley Wiggins' success in 2012.
“All the work that I have done through the winter since January, all the training and hard racing, to finally get picked is good and I can’t wait to get on with it.”
The call-up comes less than a year since Kennaugh’s career highlight – with Thomas, Ed Clancy and Steven Burke – riding to a world record and gold medal in London’s Olympic Velodrome.
In 2013, the Isle of Man rider has already helped Froome to victory in February’s Tour of Oman and more recently the Criterium du Dauphine but believes the 21 stages from 29 June -21 July will hold a wholly new challenge.
“It is obviously a totally different ball game,” Kennaugh said. “The team pursuit is a short, fast discipline with it only being four-kilometres.
“Then you have got the likes of the Tour de France or Giro d’Italia. They are up to 200-kilometres a day for 21 days, so it is almost like a different sport.
“They are both hard in different ways, but road cycling and stuff like the Tour de France is another league compared to team pursuit.”
As well as working to the team’s objective for Froome, Kennaugh qualifies to contest the young rider classification - for riders 25 years old or younger - and would relish the chance to don the white jersey.
"The white jersey is something which could maybe come as a bonus," he added. "If I can wear the white jersey for a few days, I would be super happy."