Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will not defend his 2012 title at this year's Tour of Britain

Last Updated: 26/08/13 2:50pm

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Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has endured a difficult first season with Team Sky

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has endured a difficult first season with Team Sky

Sky Bet

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has vowed to return to the Tour of Britain at some point in the future after revealing he will not be defending his 2012 title at this year's race.

The 28-year-old Briton overshadowed a selection of big-name WorldTour riders to top the podium at his home race last season, but his schedule with Team Sky means he will skip the 2013 edition, which takes place from September 15-22.

He is marked down as a reserve rider, so could yet make an appearance should there be a withdrawal, but Tiernan-Locke is focusing his attentions on other races, including the Tour of Beijing in October.

"It [the Tour of Britain] was never in the programme," he told teamsky.com. "I don't feel like I'm missing out as such as I was never down to do it.

'Race I love'

"Obviously, it is a race that I love. I have done it three times now and each one of those I have really enjoyed - culminating in last year's result. But I'm sure I will be back to do it again one day."

Tiernan-Locke's impressive win at last year's Tour of Britain was instrumental in earning him a move to Team Sky during the close season.

His debut campaign with the British squad has been far from the dream ticket he hoped it would be, though, with a string of abandonments during the spring being compounded by a summer-long struggle for race condition.

"Three weeks' racing the bike is not something to be taken lightly. At any level it is difficult, but at WorldTour level, especially so."

It has culminated with the former Endura Racing rider missing out on the Vuelta a Espana, the season's final Grand Tour, despite having been pencilled in to take part.

Vuelta blow

"All through the year I'd had this goal in mind of reaching mid-summer in great form and going for the Vuelta," he added. "But for whatever reason, mainly down to the training I undertook and not recovering enough after races, I arrived at mid-summer cooked.

"Three weeks' racing the bike is not something to be taken lightly. At any level it is difficult, but at WorldTour level, especially so.

"You don't want it to be a bitter memory of just surviving for three weeks. You need to be going well just to do your job and be useful to the team.

"Going into a Grand Tour, you want to be approaching it with the confidence you are in the form of your life, not 'I think I can get around', especially for a team like Sky."

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