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.
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke: Rider profile