Jonathan Tiernan-Locke back to winning ways in the Tour Alsace
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke back to winning ways in the Tour Alsace

by Ben Atkins at 7:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Endura Racing’s early season sensation recovering from serious crash injuries

jonathan tiernan-lockeJonathan Tiernan-Locke (Eudura Racing) has returned to winning ways, taking victory in the second stage of the 2.2-ranked Tour Alsace, after recovering from serious injury. The 27-year-old British rider broke his collarbone and fractured three ribs in a crash during the Lincoln Grand Prix, on May 13th, but recovered more quickly than expected and was back to racing in mid-June.

Tiernan-Locke was the outstanding rider at the third division ‘Continental’ level in the early season, taking victory in both the Tour Méditerranéen and Tour du Haut-Var in February, and finishing second in the Vuelta a Murcia in early March. He led the International Cycling Union (UCI) Europe Tour ranking - a classification normally dominated by second division ‘Professional Continental’ riders - until late June, and still sits in third place in the ranking published yesterday.

Breaking away as part of a large group in the first 30km of the 154km stage, Tiernan-Locke eventually got away with Ilnur Zakarin (Itera Katusha), Alexandr Pliuschin (Leopard-Trek), Dimitri Le Boulch (Auber 93) and Warren Barguil (CC Etupes), but got away with Pliuschin with 10km to go.

At the finish line, the Moldovan rider was no match for Tiernan-Locke’s sprint, and the Briton took the stage victory; he also took the race lead, but one second ahead of Pliuschin.

“The team did a good job today and the plan worked well,” said Endura Racing directeur sportif Julian Winn. “We'd looked at the results from last year's race and knew that there was a chance that it might split up on the climbs with the potential for some big time gap. So the aim was to get our GC riders [Tiernan-Locke and Erick Rowsell - ed] in there and both Jon and Erick made the first major move. Erick was a little unlucky as he had the legs to go when the break split again, but didn't quite get there.

“[It’s a] great win for Jon, he's had some misfortune through injury and illness recently, so it's good to see him getting back on the top step of the podium as a reward for the work he's put in,” he added.

With four stages left, including two mountain stages and an individual time trial, Tiernan-Locke will be looking to hold on to take his third stage race of the season. The third stage should give Endura Racing’s other riders opportunities to shine however.

Tomorrow looks slightly more straightforward, although it's a bit longer,” Winn explained. “If it splits then the mix of teams at the top of the GC should spread the workload and if it heads for a bunch sprint we've got options there with Scott [Thwaites] in form.”


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