Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has signed a two-year deal with Team Sky.
Tiernan-Locke has been linked to the British WorldTour squad throughout a breakthrough season which has seen the 27-year-old claim nine wins with Endura Racing.
That earned the punchy climber selection for Great Britain’s nine-man World Championship squad, where he further enhanced his reputation by finishing 19th, five seconds behind winner Philippe Gilbert.
And Tiernan-Locke is relishing the prospect of racing against the world’s best on a regular basis through the 2013 season.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for me to step up from the UCI Continental ranks, and although I’ve really enjoyed my time at Endura, I couldn’t pass up the chance to join the world’s best team,” said Tiernan-Locke.
“When you look at the season Team Sky have had, to even be considered by them was a massive honour for me, so I’m over the moon to be riding for them in 2013.
“This season’s results have given me a lot of confidence and I can’t wait to compete at the very top of the sport. I’m under no illusions – it’s going to be a big step up – but with all the support I’ll receive from the coaching staff, and having such talented riders around me, I’ll definitely be looking to up my game.”
Tiernan-Locke started the season with two stage wins and overall victory at the Tour de Mediterranean, before one stage win and another overall triumph at the Tour du Haut Var.
Tiernan-Locke fractured his collarbone in May but recovered to win the general classification at the Tour Alsace in July, earning two stage victories en-route. That installed Tiernan-Locke as favourite going into the Tour of Britain in September and the former Rapha Condor Sharp rider duly delivered to become the first Briton to win the race in 19 years.
And Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford admitted it has been impossible to ignore the rise of one of the most exciting riders in British cycling.
“At Team Sky we are determined that the best British talent have the opportunities to compete at the highest level of our sport,” said Brailsford. “We have monitored Jonathan’s progress closely and are delighted to offer him this contract.
“He has worked hard to get himself to where he is today and deserves his chance to compete against the very best cyclists in the world.
“Next season will be a great opportunity for him. We believe he is in the best place to achieve his full potential and are looking forward to having him on the team.”