Bora Hansgrohe rider Peter Kennaugh has today announced that he will be taking an “indefinite break” from professional cycling due to ongoing mental health issues.
In a post on Instagram this morning, the 29-year-old Olympic gold medal winner said: “After many years of struggling on and off the bike, I have made this decision, not only for me, but also for my family.
“I need to concentrate on the person that I want to be going forward and to rediscover happiness, motivation and enthusiasm in my day to day life.”
The time has come where it is now necessary to become one with my decision to take a break from professional cycling. After many years of struggling on and off the bike, I have made this decision, not only for me, but also for my family. I need to concentrate on the person that I want to be going forward and to re-discover happiness, motivation and enthusiasm in my day to day life. I can’t thank enough, the people who have helped me through the last couple of years, especially the last couple of weeks. Without having to mention any names, these people will know who they are...I am very thankful for their love and support. With hope, I am excited for the years to come and the fresh challenges that lie ahead in and out of sport.
Kennaugh has not raced competitively in 2019 since the UAE Tour in February. He endured a difficult season in 2018 and took several months out of the sport in the spring. He came back strongly in the second half of the year, putting in a powerful attack at the World Championships in Innsbruck to finished as the highest-placed British rider.
Kennaugh’s announcement was immediately met with messages of support from fellow pro riders.
In a press release, Bora Hansgrohe's team manager Ralph Denk said that Peter will be taking an indefinite break from cycling: “We thank Peter for his contribution to the team and we wish him well in his recovery process. We look forward to him making a full return to professional cycling in the future.”
Kennaugh is certainly not the first cyclist to open up about their mental health issues, and fellow Brits Victoria Pendleton and Matt Stephens also spoke last year about their personal battles with depression.
If you, or anyone you know is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, you contact the Samaritans anonymously on 116 123 or via their website.