The patron saint of tin-miners and Cornwall is the inspiration for the name of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke's cycling team

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke makes his return to racing a week on Sunday (February 28) for his four-man team named after the patron saint of Cornwall.

Tiernan-Locke’s two year ban from racing came to an end on December 31, 2015, and his first race is the 53km Primavera Road Race, in Hatherleigh, Devon.

JTL, who maintains his innocence over his doping sanction but had his 2012 Tour of Britain win chalked off the record books, has said that he would ride as an independent, but he has since set up the Saint Piran team.

Saint Piran – Wikipedia explains to us – died in the year 480 and was apparently of Irish origin. His flag – a white cross on a black background – doubles up as the flag of Cornwall.


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Legend has it that Saint Piran was tied to a mill-stone by the heathen Irish, pushed over a cliff into a stormy sea, but the sea immediately became calm and the saint floated back to the sandy beach in Perranzabuloe, the place where he was buried.

JTL is unhappy that he has been given a second category licence for his return, but his teammtate Andrew Feather had an elite licence last year and he came fourth in the 2015 Primavera race.

Jake Alderman is another rider for Saint Piran, and he won the junior RUTT two-stage road race last year for Bikechain-Ricci, ahead of the highly-rated Etienne Georgi.

British Cycling’s club profile page has Tiernan Locke as the principal contact for the team and says that four riders are registered.

Should JTL be victorious in the race, he can celebrate on Saint Piran’s feast day a week later on March 5.

  • David Chadderton

    Ah, negative logic there Chris. A saint does not dope, or support rule-breakers.
    The patron supporter of dopers must be Beelzebub.
    But, this is all very theoretical, as neither really exist.

  • There is more likelihood these days of finding people cheating in races like the Costa Rica and even more so in countries like Thailand where there appears to be no controls. In Thailand too (and I am sure a lot of other countries in this area) you can get whatever you want cheaply over the counter. The other place to look is Masters racing. A masters race in Ostend (Belgium) last year caught 7 out of the 8 riders tested. I have a training partner who won’t ride the Spanish masters’ national because he doesn’t trust half of the peloton. So aim your fire in the right direction.

  • Hence my comment about the passport above. I think there’s room for a little doubt.

  • Pedro Nogo

    Apples. Pears.
    Why so touchy??

  • Roger

    No smoke bollocks. What about the idiotic aspersions cast on last year’s Tour winner? Does that make him guilty too in your world?

  • ummm…

    be careful tho. yes accusing everyone of doping isnt the most accurate stance, while diminishing the findings of the BP system to make space for innocence is equally as untenable.

  • Hey! Why do you guys always put the word ‘dopers’ in capital letters? Is JTL a convicted doper (lower case)? No. He has a blood passport issue which may indicate doping or may not. Perhaps he should be allowed to drink his beer and ride his bicycle in peace now that he’s served his suspension under the current rules. There are more important things to post in capital letters!!!!

  • Odd Bloke

    St Pirans have an annual BEER festival. Right up JTL’s rue! He could have a whole weekend of racking up alcohol units!

  • Pedro Nogo

    Not sure about the Garmin thing – they did run some tests and wanted to some more. quote below from an article that Vaughters contibuted to:

    “The thing with Tiernan-Locke was that we tried to do that in
    February or early March of that year, when he was in a real high
    performance period, but he wouldn’t come down to Girona,” Vaughters
    said. “We kept saying, ‘okay, you need to be here tomorrow for the
    test,’ but he would say, ‘oh no, I’m busy, I have got this or I have got
    that.’ He would always put it off, put it off, put it off.

    “Finally he agreed to come down. We did the test on March 28. At that
    point in time all I can say is that the haematology was normal but his
    power test was average at best. It certainly wasn’t the guy who was
    ripping Philippe Gilbert and Dan Martin off his wheel at the Tour of
    Med. It was a power test of a very average professional rider.”

    OK – not conclusive & he’d probably decided to ride for Sky already by that point (did they do loads of tests? thought they’d copped a bit of stick for not doing enough due diligence) but it just adds to the cloud of controversy if you ask me.

    With that said, as you say, he’s done his time and should be free to have a crack at his second chance. Doesn’t mean he won’t be regarded with suspicion or get an easy time of it though. The real problem with cycling’s credibility is the fact that there are so many alleged ex-dopers still involved, most of whom haven’t admitted anything (busted by the rozzers or not) or shown any contrition, yet some sections of the media still love them….

  • Pedro Nogo

    yeah and just so happens that he has ridden for teams with plenty of previous, won his first Tour with the architects of the “most sophisticated doping programme ever,” plasticisers….puerto….. no smoke etc

  • J1

    Contaminated food is viable, there’s so much crap in food. Cows get injected with hormones and vitamins a whole lot.

  • Justin Halliwell

    Yes he’s a Janner

  • contrelamontre

    David Millar has been given a job with British Cycling. He deserves some credit for showing some remorse for what he has done and his anti doping stance. Let’s not forget though he only changed his ways after he was busted by the French police.

    JTL is different. There was no positive test but a suspicious blood profile in his biological passport. His story about a drinking binge does sound silly and the fact that he changed it a few times does not look good. He has also been prosecuted for drink driving which is also a blot on his character. He could help himself a bit more with a more humble attitude.

    For these reasons lots of people may not like him. That said, what if he has done nothing wrong? Wouldn’t you protest your innocence?

    Brian Smith said that he believed that he was clean. He reckoned that JTL couldn’t cope with the aggressive training programme at Sky and became run down. This would affect his blood levels and cause the 2012 levels to look suspicious. Also remember that Garmin and Sky checked him out and found nothing wrong. Of course this doesn’t mean that JTL was clean but needs to be considered nonetheless.

    JTL has served his ban and is allowed a second chance under the rules. Lots of other riders have been given the same chance. We may think this is ridiculous and life bans are needed but these are the rules we have at the moment.

  • Pedro Nogo

    Not sure which excuse was better……Bertie’s “It was contaminated beef m’lud, honest!” or JTL’s equally pathetic & Landis-esque “It was alcohol related”

    “Dopers gonna dope”

  • David Simons

    Another doper who has tainted cycling gets media coverage. Is it any wonder 5 guys just got caught doping today, riding Vuelta a Costa Rica? Pro cycling, guaranteed to produce the best doper.

  • Michael

    Maybe his mum had 33 units of alcohol the night before he was born and forgot which hospital?

  • Michael

    This is because they don’t test for substances they look for abnormally high red blood cells.

    Precisely because the substances that gave him the odd results aren’t detected in tests.

    Of course, if you believe JTL, the best way to improve your cycling performance isn’t to train, nor is it to dope or use EPO, nor is it to do altitude training. No according to JLT you should go to the pub and sink 17 pints of lager.

    Not sure what court you imagine wouldn’t laugh at his defence.

  • Gavin Berry

    What substance did they find? oh wait none and they refused to retest his old samples! The charge wouldn’t of stood up in a court of law but that doesn’t matter in a witch hunt. Let him get on with it, “haters gonna hate”.

  • Brendan Power

    I think you should prepare to be disappointed.

  • piskian

    Petroc.

  • Lee Wingate

    I hope the second cats give him a proper shoe’ing in his first race back.

  • Henry Mathews

    Isn’t he from Devon?

  • David Kerry

    Good question . I hope this DOPER gets nothing but allegations throw at him!!

  • Chris Williams

    So who is the patron saint of DOPERS