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.

Results

Tour
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