Jonathan Tiernan Locke signs two year contract with Team Sky
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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Jonathan Tiernan Locke signs two year contract with Team Sky

by VeloNation Press at 6:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Tour of Britain winner has chance to show what he can do at WorldTour level

Jonathan Tiernan LockeFollowing weeks of rumours, Team Sky have officially confirmed the signing of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke to the team, finalizing a two year deal with the Briton.

The 27 year old climber has had a superb season with Endura Racing, handing the Continental team valuable publicity when he won the Tour de Mediterranean and the Tour du Haut Var early on then, after recovering from a broken collarbone, netting two stage victories and the general classification in July’s Tour Alsace.

Speculation was increasing that he was on his way to Sky at that point, but an even bigger success was in store. In September he and his Endura team rode superbly to win the Tour of Britain, beating WorldTour teams and riders to do so.

Tiernan Locke then went on to ride the world road race championship, infiltrating a dangerous break with riders such as Alberto Contador and, despite being hauled back, finishing in the top twenty.

The race was fifty kilometres longer than he had ever ridden before, and showed he is ready to move up a level.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for me to step up from the UCI Continental ranks,” he said, reacting to the confirmation of his new contract. “Although I’ve really enjoyed my time at Endura, I couldn’t pass up the chance to join the world’s best team.

“When you look at the season Team Sky have had, to even be considered by them was a massive honour for me, so I’m over the moon to be riding for them in 2013.”

Team Principal Dave Brailsford said that one of the team’s goals is that the best British talent has the chance to compete at the highest level of the sport.

“We have monitored Jonathan’s progress closely and are delighted to offer him this contract,” he said. “He has worked hard to get himself to where he is today and deserves his chance to compete against the very best cyclists in the world.

“Next season will be a great opportunity for him. We believe he is in the best place to achieve his full potential and are looking forward to having him on the team.”

There are no indications yet as to which races he will ride, but his punchy style means he is well suited to races such as the Ardennes Classics. He will also hope to line out in a Grand Tour; the Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a España are likely the most suited to his style, but riding a Tour de France in the next two years will almost certainly be a personal goal.

“This season’s results have given me a lot of confidence and I can’t wait to compete at the very top of the sport,” he said. “I’m under no illusions - it’s going to be a big step up - but with all the support I’ll receive from the coaching staff, and having such talented riders around me, I’ll definitely be looking to up my game.”

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