Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing) has won the second stage of the Tour Alsace, outsprinting Moldovan national champion and former Katusha rider Alexandr Pliuschin (Leopard-Trek).
The pair broke free from awith around 10km to go on the day’s 153.8km hilly stage and Tiernan-Locke narrowly pipped Pliuschin on the uphill drag to the line.
He now leads the general classification ahead of Pliuschin as well as both the mountains classification and combativity prize.
Team-mate Erick Rowsell finished in the third chasing bunch after making the initial break while Scott Thwaites, second overall after stage one, moved down the GC.
The win is Tiernan-Locke’s first since February 19, where he bombarded the opposition at the Tour du Haut Var.
Despite finishing second overall at March’s Tour of Murcia, an illness during the spring and a broken collarbone sustained at the Lincoln GP on May 13 put the brakes on what was shaping up to be a promising season for the man from Plymouth.
The Tour Alsace, a UCI 2.2 race, concludes on Sunday with a 157km stage to the Ballon d’Alsace, the first ever official mountain climb of the Tour de France in 1905.
Last year’s edition of the race was won by local lad and recent Tour de France tenth place finisher, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-BigMat).
Tour Alsace 2012, stage two: Strasbourg – Bischoffsheim
1. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing) 3h 51-35
2. Alexandr Pliuschin (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
3. Warren Barguil (CC Etupes) at 58 secs
4. Dimitri Le Boulch (Auber 93) s.t.
Tiernan-Locke out with fractured collarbone
Tiernan-Locke reflects on Murcia result
Tiernan-Locke talks about Tour of the Med win
Tiernan-Locke takes final stage en route to Tour of the Med victory
Tiernan-Locke takes Tour of the Med opener
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke: Rider Profile
Tour Alsace Official Website (in French)