Chief Minister leads tributes to champions

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PETER Kennaugh’s star profile has certainly risen since he helped Great Britain to Team Pursuit gold and a new world record at the UCI Track World Cycling Championships in Melbourne.

The odds on the Manxman and his GB team-mates clinching gold at this summer’s Olympics have been sliced with William Hill pricing them at 5/6 to claim victory at the London Velodrome in early August.

This is not surprising considering GB performance director and general manager David Brailsford has described Kennaugh and team-mates Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Steven Burke’s performance last week as: ‘The best team pursuit I’ve ever seen.’

Praise for Kennaugh and fellow Onchan resident Ben Swift, who claimed an impressive world title in the 15km Scratch race, has also been heaped on the pair by Chief Minister Allan Bell:

‘I would like to add my congratulations to Peter and Ben on their outstanding achievements in Australia.

‘To have two more world champions demonstrates the amazing depth of sporting talent we have in the Isle of Man, particularly in cycling.’

He added: ‘As a nation we work hard to create an environment that nurtures talent and enables our young people to flourish.

‘This latest success provides further evidence that people from a small country such as the Isle of Man can succeed on the international stage if they have the ability, commitment and support.

‘Like Mark Cavendish, I’m sure Peter and Ben will be an inspiration to future generations of Manx sportsmen and women.’

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