Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has put an end to his cycling career, saying he no longer has the time nor motivation, telling the Exeter Herald Express that he "wouldn’t want to be a pro again anyway."
The now 32-year-old Briton had a spectacular year in 2012 with the Continental-ranked Endura Racing, taking nine wins, including the overall titles in the Tour Mediterraneen and Tour of Britain. The successes brought him a contract with top-ranked Team Sky for the following two years.
He only spent one season with the WorldTour team and never came anywhere his level of the previous year. It all came to an end in September 2013, when he received a letter from the UCI concerning questionable blood values from 2012.
Tiernan-Locke protested his innocence, citing an alcohol binge as responsible for the fluctuating values. He was ultimately fired by Team Sky and suspended for two years, with the ban expiring the end of 2015.
In 2016 he rode a number of national races with some success, but decided that continuing was not worthwhile. "I'm glad I raced last year, even if I was never that fit, as I felt I needed to come back and compete at some level," he told the Express. "I just about did the bare minimum in training, often missing a few days' riding at a time – and that was the polar opposite to the way I was before.
"I have searched for the motivation, but the fact is that it's difficult to get fired up about the kind of races that I once saw as stepping-stones to the pro world. To make the sacrifices needed for me to be decent again, I'd need to be in a completely different mindset. And I wouldn't want to be a pro again anyway."
Tiernan-Locke has been co-operating with the UKAD investigation into possible wrong-doing at Team Sky and British Cycling. In the meantime, he has set himself up in a new career in property renovation and redevelopment.
"I still love riding, and I do intend to get back on the bike soon. But, for now, I just plan to keep fit and enjoy being a social rider – even if I probably will get stuck in now and again!"
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