Jon Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing) continued his impressive start to 2012 by taking third on an undulating opening stage of the Tour du Haut Var.
The Brit, who won the Tour of the Med last Sunday, was beaten by Romain Hardy (Bretagne Schuller) and Clément Koretzky (La Pomme Marseille) in La Croix Valmer at the end of a stage which included three second category climbs.
Hardy and Koretzky were part of a two-man break that managed to hold off the chasing peloton by ten seconds at the finish.
His team-mate Russell Downing also rode strongly on the way to finishing tenth.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Endura DS Julian Winn heaped more praise on the Devon rider.
“It’s another tremendous result, and Jon showed his class again,” he said.
“We went into today with Russ [Downing] as the leader, but we wanted to keep Jon in a position where he didn’t lose time. Jon could’ve have come across [to the leaders] but he waited.
“I’m lost for words, really. He’s incredible. He’s so focused, and whatever he says he does.”
Winn added that the squad have checked out tomorrow’s stage finish, which ramps up to 26% on the finishing climb in Fayence.
“We came to win the race which is unreal but it’s also realistic. We’ve seen the finish, it’s very hard and very steep,” he added. “BMC and Garmin did a lot of work today in the chase, so there are plenty of teams going for it. But I’d like to see how they’ll survive against Jon right now.”
See next week’s Cycling Weekly for more on Jon Tiernan-Locke.
Tour du Haut Var stage one: Draguignan- La Croix Valmer 189km
1. Romain Hardy (Bretagne Schuller) in 4-47-10
2. Clément Koretzky(La Pomme Marseille) at st
3. Jon Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing)at 10 seconds
4. Jérémie Galland (Saur Sojasun)
5. Simon Clarke (GreenEdge)
6.Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
7. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)
8. Staf Schierlinckx (Accent Willems)
9. Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun)
10. Russell Downing (Endura Racing) all at st.