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TOUR OF BRITAIN LIVE BLOG: Leader Tiernan-Locke says "Devon will be amazing"

By GuyHenderson  |  Posted: September 14, 2012

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SOUTH Devon's Jon Tiernan-Locke had two reasons to be cheerful after today's tough sixth stage of the Tour of Britain.

The Endura Racing pro, who is a member of the Newton Abbot-based Mid-Devon Cycle Club, was given the leader's gold jersey after finishing second on the stage.

He takes a slender overall lead of 13 seconds into tomorrow's penultimate stage of the race over his home hills of Devon.

Tomorrow's stage starts in Barnstaple and finishes in Dartmouth.

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Tiernan-Locke said afterwards: "It's going to be amazing. I know the roads like the back of my hand!

"Thirteen seconds is pretty slim, and we'll probably need some more. It's going to be tremendous - another day with a hard finish.

"Loads of people have texted me to say where they are going to be on the route tomorrow. To have this jersey on, it's going to be quite surreal."

He was also named in the Great Britain team for the World Championships Road Race in Holland next week.

The team is: Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Chris Froome, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Bradley Wiggins.

Tour de France winner Wiggins withdrew from the Tour of Britain due to a stomach bug picked up overnight.

Tiernan-Locke turned in a stunning ride in the mountains of Wales today.

As the Tour of Britain's sixth stage took the riders through the principality to a hilly finish at Caerphilly, the Endura Racing rider was in sixth place overall, just 24 seconds off the lead.

Tiernan-Locke, the leading British rider in the Tour, attacked on the first climb of Caerphilly Mountain, then went further ahead as the riders climbed the slope a second time.

At the finish he was second behind Leopold Koenig of NetApp, and the gap he had built up, combined with a time bonus for finishing in second place, secured him the overall lead in the race.

Australian Leigh Howard of the Orica-GreenEdge team is in second place with two days of racing left.

After putting on his gold jersey Tiernan-Locke said: "It was always going to be a decisive day today. It was always going to be the day for the General Classification.

"We planned to have more team-mates up there at the front but unfortunately Zak Dempster had a crash.

"The crowds on Caerphilly Mountain were incredible and they really helped."

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Tomorrow's penultimate stage of the Tour starts in Barnstaple and finishes in Dartmouth.

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