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.
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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.