Friday, 14 September 2012

Tiernan-Locke Takes Gold

I'm feeling a little smug today. I started this blog in March and my fourth ever post was about Jon Tiernan-Locke. Since last years Tour of Britain I have followed Tiernan-Locke's progress closely and for those who are regular visitors here you will probably have noticed a fair bit of JTL related posting, I guess I am a bit of a Tiernan-Locke 'fanboy'. I was the site to link Tiernan-Locke to Sky (here) and as a result the blog got a LOT of attention. I probably owe a lot to JTL, but taking the leaders jersey in today's stage of Tour of Britain vindicates my attention...

Tomorrow the Tour of Britain roles through another undulating stage in Devon, home county of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke and this year the 27 year old will ride through in the race leaders jersey. A proud moment for a man who thought his cycling career was well and truly over 4 years ago. For a full rider profile of Tiernan-Locke highlighting his ups and down you can visit here.

Tiernan-Locke made his move on the first of two ascents of Caerphilly Mountain and danced away from the chasers but was caught later by NetApp rider Leopold König who wasn't willing to share the pace at first but eventually overhauled Tiernan-Locke to take the stage victory. Tiernan-Locke will not be bothered though as the stage win wasn't the first thing on his mind - his attack was all about gaining time on Aussie leader Howard in order to take the yellow jersey from his shoulders and ride his home stage tomorrow in the leaders jersey. Mission accomplished.

There are plenty of big names in this race, not least Ivan Basso and Samuel Sanchez so outpacing the bunch on an incline is no mean feat. Jonathan is used to it though as I was reminded earlier by a fellow forumite 'OCDuPalais': As far as I can recall, he's only been distanced on a climb in the finalé of a race this year ONCE - and that was by the impressive Quintana in the Tour of Murcia (also the only rider I can recall managing to escape from a Wiggins led Sky train on a climb in the finalé of a race this year- in the Dauphiné): and that was only after the Colombian had sat on JTL's wheel for 6.5km of an 8km climb.

It's no secret that JTL is likely to be riding with Sky next year and it's a well deserved accolade based on not only today's performance but the performances he has put in consistently throughout the season, even taking a break in the middle thanks to a broken collarbone suffered at the Lincoln Grand Prix. I'm not convinced Sky is the greatest move for Locke but he would be mad to turn down a place on the WorldTour and the WorldTour would be mad to miss out on such a talented rider...

1 comment:

  1. I don't blame you for feeling smug. You called it.