The highly rated young British rider Peter Kennaugh, who won Olympic gold in 2012 as part of the Team Pursuit team, took overall victory at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali in Italy yesterday as Team Sky secured a one-two finish in their debut at the event.
Italian Dario Cataldo won the final-stage time trial by eight seconds to move up to second on the podium behind team-mate Kennaugh, who simply needed to play it safe on the final day to defend his overall lead.
Cataldo’s victory made it four stage wins in the race for Sky after Ben Swift’s opening win and victory in the team time trial earlier in the week before Kennaugh took control of the event by winning on Friday. “It was a perfect end to a perfect week for us,” the Team Sky sports director, Dan Frost, said. “It’s like being in dreamland. To win four out of five stages is not a common thing to do but the team was super strong this race.”
Chris Froome settled for sixth place in the Tour of Catalonia as Lieuwe Westra won yesterday’s final stage in Barcelona and Joaquim Rodriguez sealed overall victory in his home city.
Team Sky’s David Lopez had led a late attack on the final lap of the stage but it was quickly covered by Alberto Contador and Tejay van Garderen with Rodriguez in close attendance, and the contenders eventually came home in the same group to preserve Rodriguez’s four-second lead over Contador.
Froome suffered an early crash but was unhurt and finished 17 seconds behind Rodriguez in the overall standings.
“He’s got a small cut to his knee and has lost a bit of skin on his thigh and arm but nothing that won’t heal,” Sky director Nicolas Portal said.
“Froomey will have benefited from this week and it’s got him back into the swing of things. If there had been a time trial here he might have even won.”