Tiernan-Locke moves into Tour of Britain lead as Koenig takes stage

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke in lead, Tour of Britain 2012, stage six

Tour of Britain 2012 stage six photo gallery by Andy Jones>>

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura) moved into the overall lead of the 2012 Tour of Britain on stage six after launching an attack on the decisive climb of Caerphilly Mountain.

Tiernan-Locke escaped from the peloton on the first of two ascents of Caerphilly Mountain. His escape companion Leopold Koenig (NetApp) came around Tiernan-Locke in the final metres to take the stage win. Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) took third with stage one winner Luke Rowe (Sky) in fifth.

The action kicked off early, with a six-man move coming from Magnus Backstedt (UK Youth), Marcin Bialoblocki (Node4-Giordana), Dan Craven (IG-Sigma Sport), Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post), Graham Briggs (Raleigh-GAC) and King of the Mountains Kristian House (Rapha Condor).

The six swiftly built up a gap that reached nearly eight minutes at its height, putting 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner Backstedt into the virtual race lead for a spell. House, meanwhile, was sweeping up the day's mountains points to solidify his position in the KoM jersey.

A split in the bunch developed in the Brecon Beacons thanks to some aggressive riding by a group of contenders assisted by a heady crosswind. Race leader Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge), Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura) and a trio of Garmin-Sharp riders were among 11 riders that got clear. However, the move was shut down by the bunch.

The lead group made it intact to the first of two climbs of Caerphilly Mountain, but soon fell apart on the sharp ascent leaving just House and Briggs in the lead.

Behind, Tiernan-Locke launched his attack from the remnants of the bunch, quickly bridging up to the escapees. House fell back, but Briggs stuck with Tiernan-Locke over the crest of the hill and back down into Caerphilly. By the second ascent of Caerphilly Mountain, Koenig had bridged up and Briggs dropped back leaving two riders in front.

Twenty-year-old Josh Edmondson (Great Britain) attempted to bridge up to Tiernan-Locke and Koenig, and nearly made it before the effort proved too much and he was swallowed up by the chasers and finished 13th. It was a bold move and bodes well for his performance in the forthcoming under-23 World Championship road race.

The two fast-paced ascents played havoc with the peloton, splitting it into small pieces. Howard and Boy Van Poppel (United Healthcare) found themselves on the wrong side of the main split. Both riders lost time over their rivals, with Howard relinquishing the lead to Tiernan-Locke but still hanging on to enough time to place second overall.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) was a non-starter in Welshpool, having been forced to withdraw from the race due to an overnight stomach bug. His absence will cause disappointment among the many fans who were hoping to catch a glimpse of the Tour de France and Olympic champion on home roads over the weekend.

The stage also claimed Zak Dempster (Endura), who took a heavy fall resulting in a suspected broken collarbone.

Tour of Britain stage seven preview>>


Tour of Britain 2012, stage six: Welshpool to Caerphilly, 189.8km

1. Leopold Koenig (Cze) NetApp in 4-38-02

2. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Endura at 2 secs

3. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 19 secs

4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

5. Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky

6. Paul Voss (Ger) Endura

7. Christopher Jones (USA) United Healthcare

8. Simon Yates (GBr) Great Britain

9. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) NetApp

10. Liam Holohan (GBr) Raleigh-GAC all same time

Overall classification after stage six

1. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Endura in 25-26-57

2. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 13 secs

3. Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 18 secs

4. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) United Healthcare at 20 secs

5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 23 secs

6. Christopher Jones (USA) United Healthcare at 33 secs

7. Christian Knees (Ger) Sky at 1-34

8. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) NetApp at 2-01

9. David Delay (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 2-01

10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 4-16

Team Yeti

The Luke Rowe fan club

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke leads Graham Briggs

Samuel Sanchez and Ivan Basso

Leigh Howard battles to save his race lead

Leopold Koenig went on to win the stage

Tiernan-Locke in the lead

Related links

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke: Rider profile

Tour of Britain 2012: Coverage index

Tour of Britain 2012: Latest news

Basso lands in London, ready for new experience

Daily live TV coverage for Tour of Britain

Great Britain team announced for Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain 2012: Start list

Ivan Basso to lead Liquigas at Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain 2012 teams unveiled

Tour of Britain 2012 route revealed

Tour of Britain 2012: Reports

Stage five: De Maar takes solo Stoke win as race takes shape

Stage four: Cavendish strikes jackpot in Blackpool

Stage three: Cavendish takes Tour of Britain stage three

Stage two: Howard edges out Cavendish to win Tour of Britain stage two

Stage one: Rowe takes Tour of Britain opener after Cavendish crashes

Tour of Britain 2012: Photos

Stage six gallery by Andy Jones

Stage five gallery by Andy Jones

Stage four gallery by Andy Jones

Stage three gallery by Andy Jones

Stage two gallery by Andy Jones

Stage one gallery by Andy Jones

Tour of Britain 2012 pre-race gallery by Andy Jones


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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.