Sep 17 2012
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke admits his Tour of Britain success was made all the more special by the crowds that came out to greet riders on Sunday's final stage in Guildford.
The 27-year-old Endura Racing man became the first home rider to win the event in 19 years, following in the footsteps of Robert Millar's success on the 1989 Kellogg's Tour. Tiernan-Locke entered the final stage 18 seconds ahead of Austrian Nathan Haas and 23 seconds ahead of Italian Damiano Caruso.
And the Briton made sure of the title after finishing in the main group behind Mark Cavendish, who claimed his fourth stage win of the Tour. "It's well clear of the other wins, right at the top for sure," Tiernan-Locke said on www.tourofbritain.com.
"Not just because it's the Tour of Britain but because of all the crowds and support it's just been on another level. Being close to London, the final stage it being a weekend, the crowds were just unreal. Coming through Guildford with 100km to go it was like the finish of a race, crowds 10 deep or whatever they were, it was just amazing."
Cavendish, who will now turn his attention to the defence of his world road race title in Holland next Sunday, had nothing but praise for Team Sky for helping him make his mark on the Tour.
He said: "It wasn't an easy finish. It wasn't just the last stage in the Tour of Britain; it was the last race for me in the rainbow jersey. The team were incredible, they supported me the whole day; the guys stayed in control and they gave it everything they had - I'm so proud of them."
Team Sky sports director Servais Knaven also believes they can be satisfied with their efforts around the British Isles.
"That was an incredible performance," he said. "The team were really up for it with it being Cav's last race in the world champion's jersey...they finished it off perfectly too with Cav taking a fourth stage win for the team, and you can't ask much more than that.
"Christian [Knees] managed to get ninth on the general classification as well, but stage wins were the main objective for us, so to have won half the stages on offer is not bad at all."
British pair Peter Williams and Kristian House won the sprint and king of the mountains jerseys, respectively.