What races is Jonathan Tiernan-Locke appearing in?

There’s a lot of scene-setting at this time of year. Next week, textbook scheduling sees two clashing World Tour stage races – Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico – and these serve as form indicators for both the Spring Classics and the Grand Tours, as well as being decent races in their own right.

Normally, Paris-Nice is slightly higher profile, but it seems like pretty much everybody’s keen to do Tirreno-Adriatico this year. Not sure why. Whatever the reason, the Italian race is where we’ll get to monitor Chris Froome’s progress towards the Tour. However, I’m also interested to see how Jonathan Tiernan-Locke fares in his first season with Sky and he’ll be supporting Richie Porte at Paris-Nice.

Tiernan-Locke will also be riding Criterium International with Froome later in the month. Two French races? Do Sky have him in mind for their Tour de France team?  I hope so, although I don’t really know why. It’s not like I know the guy. Sometimes when following a sport it’s important to just latch onto someone for no real reason. I guess I’ve adopted that policy here. It’ll take quite a lot of paint to spray his name on the road though. Maybe I should have thought of that before nailing my colours to the mast.

Spring Classics update

Luca Paolini won the Omloop. He’s a 36-year-old who’s had a number of top ten finishes in day races over the years, but I can’t see him winning anything too major. Geraint Thomas finished fourth and Greg Van Avermaet came fifth and those pair might crop up in coming weeks.