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Jon Tiernan-Locke 2nd at Vuelta Murcia
Jon Tiernan-Locke finished 2nd overall in the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia in Spain making up a place in the second stage individual time trial in Murcia.
On Saturday's opening stage, Tiernan-Locke was third as the race covered 198km between Balneario de Archena and Sierra de Espuña, with a parcours heavily backloaded with climbs.
Zak Dempster was part of a nine man break which rode off the front of the peloton for most of the day, gaining an advantage in excess of three and a half minutes at one point. When Rabobank were joined by Movistar at the front of the bunch, the lead began to tumble and as they entered the major climbs in the final 20km, the break first splintered and then were swept up.
Wearing the UCI Europe Tour leaders white jersey, Tiernan-Locke launched a trademark attack on the lower slopes of the first category Alto del Collado Bermejo and was quickly joined by Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Despite a number of accelerations, Jon was unable to drop the Columbian and Quintana was able to gap him as they topped out. Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) overhauled Jon late on the final downhill charge to the finishing line to leave him in 3rd place, 16 seconds down on Quintana and two seconds back on Poels.
Stage two saw the riders take on a flat 12.3km individual time trial in Murcia on Sunday and Alexander Wetterhall set a great time early on to eventually finish third on the stage, 3 seconds down on stage winner Alexander Serov (RusVelo) and Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar Team). However, the battle for the overall classification was won by the winner of the opening stage Quintana (Movistar) and despite Tiernan-Locke putting in a valiant performance, which saw him overtake Poels, he was unable to make up enough time on Quintana to make up the 16s lost on the opening stage. Paul Voß also performed strongly against the clock to move up one spot into tenth place.
Vuelta a Murcia is a race that I have been looking forward to over the winter, a good aim for the early season. I was going good during the Saturday´s road stage and we all did a great job to set up JTL for the finishing climb. But as I came into it myself I could not keep up and got left behind, a bit frustrating.
I still had a good opportunity at Sunday´s TT over 12.3km and I knew it was the same fast course as the year before when I got 7th. I did a good warm up and at the start I felt I had the speed and the power to do a good time. I could not go any faster anywhere and it was full-on through the corners and I crossed the line with nothing left in the tank. This was only my third time at my new Giant Trinity Advanced, it feels very good and with a few more sessions and races I hope to go even better. I'm very happy with my third today but I'm looking for a win!
I made a big effort yesterday on the climb, as I knew I needed to just ride as I wanted a gap on the others behind for the TT. I never feel good in TTs but managed a respectable time. To be just six seconds off the overall is frustrating, but fair play to the winner who also did a good ride today. That was painful!
Click here for results from this race.