One of cycling's worst kept secrets has been confirmed this morning with Team Sky announcing that it has signed Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.
The 27-year-old from Devon, who spent several years out of the sport due to illness and pursuing his studies, has impressed throughout a 2012 season with Endura Racing that saw him claim a string of victories in stage races.
His success led to him being selected for Great Britain at the road world championships where as the country's main challenger in the race he rode strongly to claim a top 20 finish.
Besides the Tour of Britain, Tiernan-Locke won French early season races the the Tour de Mediterranean and Tour du Haut Var, and in the wake of those successes a number of top-flight teams were said to be interested in acquiring his services for the rest of the season.
Tiernan-Locke, however, remained loyal to Endura, committing himself to the Scotland-based team for the rest of 2012, and came back from a broken collarbone suffered at the Lincoln Grand Prix to win two stages and the overall at the Tour Alsace in July.
Commenting on his switch to Team Sky, he said: “It’s an incredible opportunity for me to step up from the UCI Continental ranks, and 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.
“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.
"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.”
Sky's Team Principal, Dave Brailsford, added: "At Team Sky we are determined that the best British talent have the opportunities to compete at the highest level of our sport. We have monitored Jonathan’s progress closely and are delighted to offer him this contract.
"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."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.