The unprecedented summer of British sporting success continued in cycling’s Tour of Britain with Jonathan Tiernan-Locke taking the overall victory by 18 seconds over Australia’s Nathan Hass.
Having taken first and second at the Tour de France and achieving an astounding eight Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympic Games, it was perhaps surprisingly not one of the British cycling’s household names taking the title. Instead, it was a relatively unknown rider outside the cycling world riding for a second tier pro team who continued the golden period for British cycling.
Although not taking a single stage over the eight days of racing, Tiernan-Locke rode himself into the leader’s gold jersey with a strong showing in the Welsh mountains in the 6th stage from Welshpool to Caerphilly. Dropping the peloton, he set off solo chasing down the break to come second on the day 2 seconds away from taking the stage victory.
Taking the General Classification was not the only good showing from the British as they took the King of the Mountains jersey and four other stage wins, with three of those victories coming to reigning world champion Mark Cavendish in what is likely his last race in the rainbow striped jersey. The upcoming parcours for the world championship race in Holland are unlikely to suit the ‘Manx Missile’. The route is a particularly hilly one, and it’s doubtful that Cavendish’s sprinting legs will be able to keep up with the leading group.
Despite being protected by a strong squad including Tour de France winner Wiggins, runner up Chris Froome and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, a repeat result of last year’s race looks improbable.