Jon Tiernan-Locke rejects ProTeam approaches and commits himself to Endura Racing for 2012

Back-to-back wins in Tour Méditerranéen and Tour du Haut Var lead to interest from some of cycling's biggest teams

by Simon_MacMichael   February 24, 2012  

Jon Tiernan-Locke (picture Endura Racing)

Jon Tiernan-Locke, whose back-to-back wins this month in the Tour Méditerranéen and the Tour du Haut Var have brought him to the attention of some of the biggest teams in pro cycling, has pledged himself to his Endura Racing team for the 2012 season.

The 27-year-old from Devon joined the Scotland-based UCI Professional Continental outfit from Rapha Condor Sharp following a 2011 season in which he won the mountains classification at the Tour of Britain.

However, despite his exploits in the two French races earlier this month attracting approaches from top-flight UCI WorldTour teams, he insists he is staying where he is this year and see out his 12-month contract.

“I have had concrete offers to sign for ProTour teams now, and to ride at that level is, and always has been, my dream,” he told This Is South Devon.

“But this is my first year with Endura, they have been looking after me and they have taken some steps to make sure I stay with the team.

“Their race programme is a really good one, and I’m grateful to Endura for this opportunity this year.

“Hopefully, if I can keep the results coming, it will be enough to sustain the interest of bigger teams.”

In some quarters, eyebrows might be raised at a cyclist aged in his late twenties bursting onto the scene in the way the Endura Racing rider has done.

However, Tiernan-Locke’s comparatively late flowering is explained by the fact that his career was put on hold for three years as he battled against a virus, and cycling also took a back seat as he completed his degree at Bristol University.

24 user comments

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i wonder who these pro teams are?

imagines the phone call: 'Hi is that Jon? Its barne Riis here. I wondered if you were free to ride for a GC in July, I wouldn't ordinarily offer but...' Big Grin

more seriously, good to see more british success

posted by eddie11 [83 posts]
24th February 2012 - 13:11

4 Likes

Great to see his success and great to see his commitment to his team.
Let's hope that translates into more invitations to the team from race organisers so we can continue to see Endura perform against the big teams.

Exercising my rights by taking them cycling

posted by pedalingparamedic [88 posts]
24th February 2012 - 14:02

3 Likes

I heard Sky made an offer....

posted by andyindo [4 posts]
24th February 2012 - 14:04

3 Likes

Its great to see a British cyclist doing what he does best and is committed to it, I just hope that he can keep his form up and maybe get an offer from a Pro team next year

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
24th February 2012 - 14:45

3 Likes

Quote:
In some quarters, eyebrows might be raised at a cyclist aged in his late twenties bursting onto the scene in the way the Endura Racing rider has done.

Do we really need to even go here?

The thought didnt even enter my mind until reading that paragraph...to me hes just a good rider grafting hard.

posted by mrchrispy [337 posts]
24th February 2012 - 14:54

1 Like

@mrchrispy +1 from me

I had to read that bit twice before I realised what it implied. Can you tell us which 'quarters' in which eyebrows are being raised?

Sorry, but this is no better than so-called anonymous 'sources' suggesting shit in red-top tabloids.

Good for JTL, and good on him for not simply being swayed by the bright lights and bigger money of the worldtour teams. Maybe we'll see him on the bigger races next year. At 27, he could be around for a few years yet.

(If you read this Jon, please don't make me eat my words above! Big Grin )

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3476 posts]
24th February 2012 - 15:23

2 Likes

I think what was meant was that if this was a rider from (for example) the Spanish or South American domestic scene it may raise a few eyebrows as we wouldn't necessarily know the backstory. WE know that there's no reason to be suspicious of JTL, as we know his past history.

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
24th February 2012 - 15:45

2 Likes

Not surprised he is getting head hunted but I did wonder at the time why he wasn't with a bigger team.

I remember seeing him last year in the Tour of Britain and he looked really strong.

I find it really honourable he wants to see his contract out.

posted by Marauder [246 posts]
24th February 2012 - 15:50

4 Likes

Simon's point is that while there might be raised eyebrows at a relatively late and swift rise, in JTL's case it's entirely understandable due to the circumstances of his illness and study. is that not clear?

given the current state of the sport of bike racing it'd be rather naive to think that someone's going to come on the scene and win two fairly major races and no-one's going to think anything other than good thoughts for him. hence Simon filling in JTL's back story to give some context.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
24th February 2012 - 15:54

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Nelly Buck is spot on, read those paragraphs again, I am saying that some people get suspicious when a cyclist of that age puts in performances that are above what they previously achieved. I have then shown why Tiernan Locke’s history makes him different from someone who has been plugging away for years and suddenly started winning races.

Two riders of relevance here – after placing fourth in 2009 TDF, a performance nothing in his past suggested he was capable of, Bradley Wiggins published his blood values precisely to stop the whispering going on in the French press.

Last year’s Vuelta – there was an awful lot of nudge, nudge, wink, wink going on after Cobo’s victory, partly I suspect to do with the fact that he’s Spanish and has ridden for teams with a doping history. No such innuendo against Chris Froome on the part of the British public and quite rightly so, but neither he or Cobo would have been seen as top-two finishers before the race.

Fact is, there are people in other European countries who do wonder how Great Britain has come from nowhere to become such a dominant force.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8517 posts]
24th February 2012 - 16:07

2 Likes

After watching JTL blow everyone away up Gun Hill in the ToB last year with very little discernible effort on his part I'm in awe. Good luck to him for 2012 and whoever snaps him up next year. I'd love to see him try for KOM points on the Giro or the TDF. He could have 5 more good years in him still and it would be great for GB to see him use them.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
24th February 2012 - 16:09

2 Likes

Saxo definitely could use some UCI points.

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [252 posts]
24th February 2012 - 16:57

3 Likes

"they have been looking after me and they have taken some steps to make sure I stay with the team" Ace!!!!! As subtle as it gets £££££ Well done JTL - richly deserved pay rise

minnellium's picture

posted by minnellium [79 posts]
24th February 2012 - 16:59

2 Likes

People always think the worst. Very sad.

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [186 posts]
24th February 2012 - 17:10

4 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
@mrchrispy +1 from me

I had to read that bit twice before I realised what it implied. Can you tell us which 'quarters' in which eyebrows are being raised?

Sorry, but this is no better than so-called anonymous 'sources' suggesting shit in red-top tabloids.

Just so that you are informed as to which quarters these eyebrows are raised from, point yourself to this:
http://www.velo101.com/pros/article/tiernanlocke-trop-facile--4658

Apologies to non-Francophones but the article is a classic "you read between the lines but we aren't going to say it" piece from a website that has some very strong pro-French views. Interestingly, they have become judge & jury on the innocence/guilt of Yoann Offredo of FDJ and his 3 missed tests/1 year ban in the last few days as well (innocence, in case you have to ask):
http://www.velo101.com/pros/article/victime-collaterale--4680

If Endura understand PR then they will be making a big effort to educate the foreign press as to JTL history/background. Unfortunately cyclists aren't the best at PR, and the people that run cycling teams are... cyclists. So, over to the PR team....(now that is a message that Sky WOULD be able to get over to the media - best head there)

theclaw's picture

posted by theclaw [75 posts]
24th February 2012 - 17:11

2 Likes

I think its spot on, he is incredible to watch but I did wonder why is hitting the scene at 27. I had a quick scan on wikipedia (which has now been updated) and the rider profile on cyclingnews a couple of weeks back but came out non the wiser so thanks for giving us his back story. I hope he continues this great form!

posted by Manx Rider [18 posts]
24th February 2012 - 17:47

3 Likes

I went for a ride with JTL a couple of years ago. He told me how many hours a week he was riding at the time. I think you need look no further to find out why he's doing so well...

35.

posted by Mat Brett [1962 posts]
24th February 2012 - 18:04

4 Likes

Fair enough, thanks for clarifying. I have just bought CW and came back here to answer my own question - apparently Marc Madiot is throwing a strop that JTLs continental-ranked team isn't subject to the blood passport scheme. Yes, slightly hilarious given that he employs yoann offredo.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3476 posts]
24th February 2012 - 20:26

1 Like

i dont get why any pro would turn down the chance for the pro-tour - cycling teams will ditch riders soon enough, so you have to cash in when you can. loyalty is seldom repaid in this sport

posted by fiftyacorn [91 posts]
24th February 2012 - 20:47

1 Like

JTL was sublime to watch in the hills of last years ToB for Rapha Condor. He WILL take the Polka Dots at The Tour within 5 years. Put your money on it right now.

posted by herohirst [59 posts]
24th February 2012 - 21:48

2 Likes

@fiftyacorn, bear in mind if he goes into a pro team he might end up running round as a domestique for a while and disspaear into the peleton, if he nails lots of victories in 2012 with endura, he can raise is profile as high as possible and maybe end up at the sharper end of the team selection. thats a possible answer anyway

posted by russyparkin [578 posts]
24th February 2012 - 22:00

2 Likes

Hoping he stays fit & strong for Sky in 2013!?
With his climbing strength and strong uphill finish there are many races & tours he's likely to be suited to....looking forward to watching his career. Met him briefly just before final stage of ToB & he seemed like a good guy.

posted by jdmotion [10 posts]
25th February 2012 - 8:13

5 Likes

sorry but without wanting to sound overly negative, a rider who comes from essentially nowhere at the age of 27 to take the wins that JTL has taken in such a dominant style have to be looked at with a slighty jaundiced eye.

Especially when the races he won were not tested races and the team he races for is not subject to the biological passport.

He has been a prospect for a few years and I understand about the illness and the University study. Obviously I am chuffed to see another Brit doing well, but he is certainly not above suspicion.

posted by punkture [4 posts]
25th February 2012 - 12:34

1 Like

Amazing how many will defend the British or enlish speaking riders, but condem any random Spaniard or Belgian for exactly the same kinda results Surprise

Well done JTL, although I think he should have taken the offer... he's 27 no spring chicken in cycling terms

Paulo's picture

posted by Paulo [110 posts]
25th February 2012 - 18:45

2 Likes