Jon Tiernan-Locke got Endura Racing’s 2012 season off to the best start possible by winning the opening stage of the Tour Méditerranéen in Meyreuil this afternoon.

Tiernan-Locke, who won the King of the Mountains classification in last year’s Tour of Britain, made light of freezing conditions to beat FDJ-Big Mat’s Yauheni Hutarovich and Sébastien Chavanal (Europcar) in the snow-shortened stage.

The 27-year-old from Devon last week told Cycling Weekly during their training camp in Majorca that he was targeting Sunday’s final stage to Mont Faron.

However, after lone escapee Thomas Vaubourzeix (Pomme Marseille) was caught with 5km remaining, Tiernan-Locke took full advantage of a crash in the peloton to power away and take the win.

Directeur Sportif Julian Winn revealed to Cycling Weekly that preparation played a key role in Tiernan-Locke’s victory.

“The riders looked at the finish yesterday and we were confident that it wasn’t going to be bunch sprint,” he said.

“There was a drag in the closing 3km, before it dropped down into the finish, so we knew the peloton would be split into dribs and drabs. Jon was our team leader going into the race and he took the initiative brilliantly.”

With eight WorldTour teams riding, as well as combative French squads such as Cofidis and Europcar, Winn added the team will continue to approach the race on a day by day basis.

“We will continue to hunt for stage wins, and then the best possible GC result we can get. We won’t get carried away,” he explained.

Méditerranéen stage one: Pertuis – Meyreuil 132km
1. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Endura Racing
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat
3. Sebastien Chavanal (Fra) Europcar
4. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda
5. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech Powered by C10

Overall classification after stage one
1. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Endura Racing

Perfect start: Tiernan-Locke takes the victory

  • Dave Smith

    The TV coverage would help some teams attract sponsors, but probably not Endura as they need a brand that has a strong European target market demographic, as they will not compete in this country if they go Pro conti.

    The problem with all the British races, bar 2, is that they do not offer UCI points and do not get riders anywhere even when they win them consistently, as a number of Endura riders have done. I would imagine most of their riders would prefer not to race in this country bar a couple of classics as their future opportunities will depend on how they perform overseas. They have lads who won Premier, Tour Series and Elite circuit races yet still stayed in the 3rd Division.

  • Mark Jones

    Great result for Tiernan-Locke and Endura. This shows how far our domestic riders and Endura in particular have came over the last 2-3 years. William’s right that we need a pro-conti team and hopefully this is the start of something big for Endura that will help them get that co-sponsor to help input the additional 3 million needed to move up another level. Tiernan-Locke was the highlight of last year’s Tour of Britain and I’m sure we’ll see plenty more from him this year. What we need now is for the Premier Calendar to be shown on ITV4 to give sponsors more return on their investment.

  • Guy

    Superb ride and well deserved.

  • William Hirst

    At least one of the domestic teams needs to take the initiative and get a pro licence. Even with Sky getting the best, there is still a pool of talented riders that are good enough to compete in the big races.

  • arronski

    Tiernan-Locke great ride, did a nice job in the TOB also !