TOUR OF BRITAIN LIVE BLOG: Jon Tiernan-Locke has the key to the race
SOUTH Devon rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke stamped his authority on the Tour of Britain this afternoon.
The Endura Racing rider, who is a member of the Newton Abbot-based Mid Devon Cycle Club, was first over the first-category Gun Hill climb as the riders approached today's stage finish in Stoke-on-Trent.
And he crossed the finishing line in a group 15 seconds behind today's stage winner, Marc De Maar of the UnitedHealthcare team.
The result means the leader's gold jersey passes back to Australian Leigh Howard of Orica GreenEdge.
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However, Tiernan-Locke's strength is climbing, and the final three days of the race feature plenty of hills.
He is now the leading British rider in the Tour.
Tomorrow the race goes through Wales and on Saturday the riders tackle Dartmoor and the South Hams on a stage that links Barnstaple to Dartmouth.
Sunday's final stage in Surrey is also hilly.
Reigning World Champion Mark Cavendish, who started today's stage in the leader's gold jersey after winning the stage into Blackpool yesterday, was five minutes adrift at the back of the race at one stage.
He and his Sky team-mates finished in today's main group, well behind Tiernan-Locke.
Saturday sees the riders crossing Devon and Sunday sees them finish in Surrey.
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