By Nick Bull published
Despite missing out on a hat-trick of early season stage race victories, Jon Tiernan-Locke declared himself pleased with second place in last weekend's Tour of Murcia (March 3-4).
The Endura Racing rider finished a slender six seconds behind Movistar's Nairo Quintana, but showed he is more than just a climber as he rode impressively against the clock in yesterday's second stage.
Tiernan-Locke sat third overall after an opening day of the race on Saturday, and nearly hauled back the 16 seconds needed to take another impressive victory.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, he said: "The race has been cut down over the past few years from five days, but the two hardest parts - a hilly stage and a time trial - were still there.
"It's a shame it wasn't another win but I would have taken second before hand."
Against even his predictions, Tiernan-Locke switched places with Vacansoleil-DMC's Wout Poels after the pan-flat time-trial.
"I was expecting to slip down the GC following the second stage, instead I moved up.
"I'm alright at time trialling - for someone who can climb I can go OK. I don't do that many of them, and it's a horrible, horrible discipline for me," he added.
Next up for Tiernan-Locke is the Paris-Troyes one-day race (March 11), before the team go to the five-day Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali event in Italy.
"That's a hard race - I'm looking forward to that," he added.
"I'm just trying to refresh now; I've been flying since mid-January, so that will be two-and-a-half months in total by the time we get to Coppi and Bartali."
Tiernan-Locke finishes second in Murcia
Tour of Murcia 2012 stage one: Tiernan-Locke takes third
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke: Rider Profile
Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.