British-based WorldTour squad Sky confirmed one of the sport’s worst kept secrets on Thursday – that they have signed 2012 Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke from Endura.

Tiernan-Locke has signed a two-year deal with the outfit thanks to his strong performance throughout the 2012 season which saw him take overall wins in the Tour of the Mediterranean, Tour du Haut Var, Tour Alsace and Tour of Britain.

The 27-year-old from Devon has already established himself as one of the sport’s most promising climbers. He’ll now have the chance to realise his potential with a ride in the top-tier of professional cycling.

“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,” said Tiernan-Locke in a Sky press statement.

“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 team principal, David Brailsford added: “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.”

Rumours of Tiernan-Locke’s signing to Sky started in the spring when it was reported that he had been training on Tenerife with members of the team. His move to Sky then seemed a given when his name was conspicuously missing from the list of Endura riders that will move to the merged NetApp-Endura team for 2013.

In September, he took the lead role in Great Britain’s squad in the World Championships road race in the Netherlands, where he stuck with the lead group to finish in a highly creditable 19th place, just five seconds adrift of winner Philippe Gilbert.

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Jonathan Tiernan-Locke: Rider profile

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 77in Thailand

    Hi Ian,didn’t know you were into coaching,as you say, impossible in Thailand,not just in cycling!!!
    Where are you? as i would like to meet,I;m in Pattaya,my e.mall is. boshadyn@windowslive.com

    HADYN BOSHER @ 79 in Thailand

  • Sam

    This thing about Russ Downing and Sky. He is a very very decent rider but let’s call a spade a spade. At 34 this year Sky knew that he’d reached his full potential, he’d never be developing any further. I dont get this idea that they should have retained him out of pity….what, just because he’s British? It’s good for Russ that by stepping down to Conti, he was able to starting winning again. Now he’ll get the chance to ride at Pro-Conti level next season – good for him. But the idea that Sky should have kept him on out of compassion on bottle duty is very wide of the mark.

  • Terry

    Hope they look after him better than they did with Russell Downing !

  • Ian Franklin

    I’ve followed his career with increasing excitement. This guy can achieve a lot. Here in Thailand there is no route to success and coaching here (as I do) is like beating your head against a brick wall. There are some talented riders but the attitudes of coaches and organisers are wrong and the pathway to success for the rider is treacherous. Sometimes I wish I was back in the UK!!

  • marysia tiernan-locke

    A great article. It just shows what the country’s young pople can achieve with determination. Jonathan has worked extremely hard to realise his ambitions and this signing is well deserved.