(image credit: Rapha-Condor CC)
Happy birthday to Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, born in 1982 in Plymouth. Having started mountain biking during his teenage years, Tiernan-Locke made the transition into road cycling in 2003nand immediately discovered a talent for it - it took him only a few months to progress from 4th to 1st Category and within a year of starting he had been offered a place on the famous amateur French team UV Aube; then within 18 months he was riding for the British Cycling Under-23 squad.
Then, it all went wrong. Shortly after joining CC Étupes, winning the GP de Rocheville and taking top-three places in the first ten races with his new team, his performances dropped dramatically and he fell ill. Doctors diagnosed infectious mononucleosis, and he was entirely unable to race for three years.
In 2008, he came to the end of the long road to recovery and was able to return to racing. Then, during a Surrey League race, a horse knocked him off his bike and he was left with a broken nose and clavicle. He couldn't race again until 2009, but when he could was offered a place with the British Plowman-Craven Madison team... which a few months later closed down, and he had to find work in a bike shop to make ends meet.
Fortunately, that meteoric rise had not been forgotten and Rapha-Condor-Sharp came calling in 2010 with an offer that would include the chance in 2011 to ride the Tour of South Africa where he was eighth overall, the Tour of Korea where he was fourth overall, the Vuelta a Leon where he won Stage 4 and was second overall and the Tour of Britain where he was fifth overall and won the overall King of the Mountains. For 2012, he switched to Endura which, despite holding the same Continental status as Rapha, would be competing at more prestigious continental events. This turned out to be a good move: Tiernan-Locke won Stages 1 and 4 and overall at the Tour Méditerranéen, Stage 2 and overall at the Tour du Haut-Var, Stages 2, 4a and overall at the Tour Alsace and overall at the Tour of Britain, becoming a household name in the process.
Not so very long ago, a British rider who had proved several times over that he had the skill to race with the best in the world would be taking his pick of contracts from French, Belgian and Italian teams before following the David Millar route to his new foreign home, but nowadays they go to Sky. On Sky's website, in the rider profiles, each rider offers "good advice" for fans and hopeful riders. "Stick at it; things don't happen overnight," says Tiernan-Locke.
In September 2013, the day of the World Championships, news broke that "potential discrepancies" had been found on Tiernan-Locke's biological passport. "The analysis of the biological passport of Mr Jonathan Tiernan-Locke by the Experts Panel has demonstrated an anti-doping rule violation (use of prohibited substances and/or methods)," read a statement issued by the UCI on the 17th of December, then went on to explain that the organisation had instructed British Cycling to begin disciplinary proceedings. Tiernan-Locke's agent then released the following statement: "Mr Tiernan Locke vehemently denies the charges brought against him and has informed the UCI that he fully intends to contest them. Mr Tiernan Locke will not ride for Team Sky, attend training camps or undertake any team duties until a decision is made in these proceedings. Mr Tiernan Locke is looking forward to a speedy and just resolution of these unfortunate charges. Until a decision has been reached, Mr Tiernan Locke will make no further comment on the matter."
Lesley Tomlinson, the Derbyshire-born mountain biker who moved to Canada when she was ten and represented her adopted country in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, was born on this day in 1959. Before going to university, Tomlinson preferred to ride horses; unable to keep one while studying she began long distance running and then took up cycling. Having earned her degree in Business and Economics, she worked in business for several years and rose to a senior marketing position before deciding to have a go at becoming a professional cyclist when she recorded good times in the cycling sections of triathlons in 1988 (her times in the swimming sections, by her own admission, were not so good - "I am an anchor," she says) and, in 1995, she signed her first contract with the Evian Pro MTB team.
British Olympian Ted Piercy was born on his day in Southwark, London in 1882. He competed in the 2km Tandem Sprint during the 1908 Games in London. Ted died on the 3rd of January 1968 aged 85.
Josef Rieder, a competitor in the Individual and Team Road Races in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was born on this day in 1893 in Munich.
Tom Leezer, the Dutch Rabobank rider who was Under-19 National Road Champion in 2003 and led the Mountains classification for two stages at the 2009 Vuelta a Espana, was born on this day in 1985.
Happy birthday Riccardo Magrini, born in Montecatini Terme, Italy in 1954. He won a stage in the 1983 Giro d'Italia and another in the Tour de France in the same year.
|Jerry M. Certain's parcel carrier for|
bicycles, Pat. No. 639798
Antonio Miguel, who rode for Spain in the 4km Team Time Trial at the 2008 Games in Beijing, was born today in 1982.
Rudolf Karsch, winner of a bronze medal at the infamous 1936 Olympics in Berlin for the 1km Time Trial, was born on this day in 1913. He died on December the 11th, 1950 aged 36 under mysterious circumstances in an apartment filled with gas.
Uruguayan Walter Moyano was born on this day in 1933. He rode in the Team and Individual Road Races at the 1956 Olympics but finished neither event. However, his palmares includes some respectable results in other events, including silver and gold medals in the Pan American Games.
Karel Nesl of Czechoslovakia failed to finish the same races in the 1952 Games in Helsinki. He was born on this day in 1930.
Emil Rusu, a Romanian rider who appeared in the Olympics in 1964 and 1968, was born on this day in 1946.
Yavé Cahard, French silver medalist in the 1980 Moscow Olympics for the Men's Sprint event, was born today in 1957. He shares his birthday with fellow Olympian Anthony Cuff, who represented New Zealand in the Individual and Team 4km Pursuit events at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Italian Luca Columbo, silver medalist in the 100km Team Time Trial at the 1992 Bercelona Olympics, was born on this day in 1969.
Hector Martin, a Belgian rider who was professional between 1925 and 1935, was born on this day in 1898. Hector won three stages in the 1925 Tour de France and two, wearing the maillot jaune for four days, in 1927. Among other successes, he won an amateur Tour of Flanders and Bordeaux-Paris. He died on the 9th of August in 1972.
|Henning Schmitz of Kraftwerk|
Other cyclists born on this day: Giacomo Fornoni (Italy, 1939); Anthony Cuff (New Zealand, 1957); Robyn de Groot (South Africa, 1982); Mariaesthela Vilera (Venezuela, 1988); Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania, 1985).