Tiernan-Locke takes lead as Tour of Britain Devon stage – including Tavistock – approaches
By ExeCellent | Friday, September 14, 2012, 20:36
AS THE TOUR OF BRITAIN's Devon stage approaches – including coming through Tavistock at lunchtime today (Saturday 15 September) – South Devon's Jon Tiernan-Locke has two reasons to be cheerful…
Local rider Jon Tiernan-Locke is in the lead as the Tour of Britain comes to Devon today, passing through Tavistock at lunchtime
The Endura Racing pro, who is a member of the Newton Abbot-based Mid-Devon Cycle Club, was given the leader's gold jersey after finishing second following yesterday's tough sixth stage in Wales.
Tiernan-Locke took a slender overall lead of 13 seconds coming into today's seventh and penultimate stage, which starts in Barnstaple, passes through Tavistock at lunchtime, goes across Dartmoor and cuts back through South Hams to finish in Dartmouth.
"It's going to be amazing," said Tiernan-Locke after the sixth stage. "I know the roads like the back of my hand!
"Thirteen seconds is pretty slim, and we'll probably need some more. It's going to be tremendous – another day with a hard finish.
"Loads of people have texted me to say where they are going to be on today's route. To have this jersey on, it's going to be quite surreal."
In addition to taking the gold jersey, Tiernan-Locke was also named in the Great Britain team for the World Championships Road Race in Holland next week.
The team is: Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Chris Froome, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke and Bradley Wiggins.
Tour de France winner Wiggins won't be at today's seventh stage of the Tour of Britain. He withdrew from the event due to a stomach bug.
Tiernan-Locke turned in a stunning ride in the mountains of Wales yesterday..
As the Tour of Britain's sixth stage took the riders through the principality to a hilly finish at Caerphilly, the Endura Racing rider was in sixth place overall, just 24 seconds off the lead.
Tiernan-Locke, the leading British rider in the Tour, attacked on the first climb of Caerphilly Mountain, then went further ahead as the riders climbed the slope a second time.
At the finish he was second behind Leopold Koenig of NetApp, and the gap he had built up, combined with a time bonus for finishing in second place, secured him the overall lead in the race.
Australian Leigh Howard of the Orica-GreenEdge team is in second place with two days of racing left.
After putting on his gold jersey, Tiernan-Locke said: "It was always going to be a decisive day. It was always going to be the day for the General Classification.
"We planned to have more team-mates up there at the front but unfortunately Zak Dempster had a crash.
"The crowds on Caerphilly Mountain were incredible and they really helped."
The race is due to pass through the centre of Tavistock today (Saturday 15 September) between 12.15pm and 12.45pm. For full route, see Tour of Britain cycle route confirmed through Tavistock