TalkingShop: Mountain Man Jon Tiernan-Locke

A rider could get a reputation after winning two King of the Mountains competitions in UCI Stage races and that’s fine for Plymouth’s Jon Tiernan-Locke, who says the hillier a race is the better.

Jon won the King of the Mountains competitions at the 2011 Tour of Britain as well as in the Vuelta a León. Jon also won the Ryedale Grand Prix in North Yorkshire in 2011 and for 2012, changes kit to wear the Endura Equipe clothing to ride for Endura Racing.

For a rider who’s favourite food is cake and who loves nothing more than racing fast on a motorbike, Jon’s speciality is going uphill, fast.

VeloUK spoke to Jon at the Endura Racing launch and he admits after a long winter of training, he can’t wait for the racing to start.

Based down south in Devon, Jon says on his profile on the Endura Racing website that his favourite roads are “anywhere over Dartmoor or over the South Hams Coast Road.”

Looking back at the winter, and his training over these roads, he explained “it’s been warmer down where I am but wet. I started off pretty early so didn’t have much of an off season and I did lots and lots of miles.”
“To be honest, the last few weeks I’ve backed it off so I don’t peak too soon. I’ve just been doing less work and more specific stuff. I can’t wait to get started and the motivation is right there. I’m kind of bored training at home right now and I just want to get together with my teammates and get out and do some hard work and get ready to race.”

Looking back at the success he had in 2011, Jon admits he had to step up and take the opportunities when they presented themselves. “ I took my racing more seriously when I went to Rapha and last year I had to make the most of the opportunities despite the race programme not always being great for me.”

Chased by Steve Cummings, Jon Lock leads the Tour of Britain up Caerphilly Mountain in last year’s Tour of Britain.

“I got in touch with Brian (Smith) after the Tour of Britain and it was a pretty easy decision to come to (joining Endura Racing). I know it’s a hard market for riders trying to find teams so I was grateful to be getting a ride, let alone something decent.”

Endura Racing, the second biggest team behind Team Sky from Britain, have an ambitious race programme, supporting the highest level races they get invites to in Europe as well as the top races in Britain.

I asked Jon was the European programme for Endura Racing something that helped motivate him to move to the team? “Definitely. The only reason for me to move on was for a better programme. I know the career is not going to last forever so I want to get to ride better races and try and progress when I can and I saw this as that opportunity.”

A podium place for Jon as he wins the 2011 King of the Mountains in the Tour of Britain.

Jon’s early season race programme is a mixture of competing against WorldTour teams in France as well as reliving past victories in races such as the Jock Wadley (Essex). Of the ten races in his provisional race programme so far on the team website, six events are in Europe.

It begins after the training camp with the four day Tour of the Med and then the two day Haut Var. Having raced in France, Jon admits to knowing the roads in the area and six years ago rode and won the amateur/Under 23 version of Haut Var.

Jon says doing well at the start of the season is a big goal, to help the team make a good impression in the races it rides to help them with future invites to the bigger races. “With the Tour of the Med and Haut Var, these are races that are going to suit me. I hope to have a good individual performance in them as well as a helping the team.”

Another event he should do well in is the British Road Race championships held on the rolling roads of Ryedale where he won last year and with a strong team packed with riders all capable of winning including former champion Russell Downing, that is one race where the team will have a challenge to take on and beat the might of Sky.

Good luck to Jon in France.

Jon wins the Ryedale Grand Prix in 2011.

Interviews from VeloUK

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