Jonathan Tiernan-Locke finishes off the Tour Alsace
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke finishes off the Tour Alsace

by Kyle Moore at 4:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Endura Racing star takes two stages and the overall

Jonathan Tiernan-LockeJonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing), the star of the early Continental season in 2012, has taken another stage race, this time the Tour Alsace. It is the third stage race victory of the season for the British rider, after he nabbed the Tour of the Mediterranean and the Tour du Haut Var early in the year.

A crash in late spring derailed the middle portion of Tiernan-Locke’s season, after he broke a collarbone and several ribs. But the Endura Racing rider has regained some of the form that made him so impressive in February, after taking stages two and four to capture the overall of the Tour Alsace.

He won out of a large breakaway on a lumpy stage two on Thursday, ahead of Alexandr Pliuschin (Leopard-Trek). Saturday was a double day that Tiernan-Locke used to his advantage, winning the early morning road stage and then consolidating in the evening time trial. On Saturday morning’s stage four, he wore down Louis Meintjes of South Africa on a category two summit finish in Markstein. Pliuschin remained close in the general classification, ultimately just 26 seconds in arrears of Tiernan-Locke, but the British rider held on in the final two stages.

On Sunday’s stage six, an escape full of riders who could not challenge Tiernan-Locke got away quickly, easing a bit of pressure off of Endura Racing. The final stage spanned 157km over circuits, eventually finishing in Ballon d’Alsace. It was the queen stage that the breakaway was left to battle out, culminating with a category-one finishing climb.

Jonathan Fumeaux (Atlas Personal-Jakroo) took the victory ahead of Stian Remme (Joker-Media). Daan Olivier (Rabobank Continental) was third. Endura Racing kept everything in check, securing the win for Tiernan-Locke.

“The overall win was set up by Thursday's stage win, which opened up some big time gaps in the GC, but it was very pleasing to get another stage win yesterday morning and then I followed that up with a solid performance in the time trial last night to keep my lead,” Tiernan-Locke explained.

“The guys rode incredibly well today, with Erick [Rowsell] there all day for me, closing down all the gaps. I'm looking forward to a couple of days here in France to recover before heading to Paris-Corrèze.”

Endura Racing director Julian Winn was enthused to see his rider’s return to prominence.

“We’re very pleased for Jon as he’s had a tough spell with illness and injury since the spring and it was a strong performance throughout the race from the rest of the team too,” he said. “Today saw the ideal situation develop for us, with a large group away with no threats to Jon's overall lead. The lads set about riding tempo and emptied themselves to take Jon to the bottom of the final climb, with Erick in particular doing a great job. It was very pleasing to watch, a perfect team performance really.”

2012 Tour Alsace Final General Classification:

1, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing)
2, Alexandr Pliuschin (Leopard-Trek) at 26 seconds
3, Warren Barguil (France) at 2’17”
4, Ilnur Zakarin (Itera-Katusha) at 3’35”
5, Dimitri Le Boulch (Auber 93) at 4’59”
6, Erick Rowsell (Endura Racing) at 9’42”
7, Damien Howson (Jayco-AIS) at 10’09”
8, Daan Olivier (Rabobank Continental) at 14’47”
9, Nikita Umerbekov (Continental Team Astana) at 14’54”
10, Mirco Saggiorato (Switzerland) at 15’12”


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