UK road race and time trial preview

Downing in search of a seventh win in the Tour of Pendle

After scoring a record sixth Premier Calendar victory in the East Yorkshire Classic last Sunday, Russell Downing crosses the country in search of a seventh win in the Tour of Pendle in Lancashire this Sunday.

The Pinarello RT ace is in superb form and few would bet against him winning the last two rounds of the blue ribband series - this Sunday’s event in Lancashire and the Richmond Grand Prix next month.

His win in last weekend’s race at Beverley ensured he cannot be caught, but the series itself holds little interest for Downing, who prefers the glory of individual race wins.

“It’s nice to win the series, but it doesn’t mean that much in overall terms,” he said. “Winning individual races is what matters.

“The Premier Calendar is nice to put on your CV, but it’s a shame there’s no overall prize. It takes a lot of effort from your team-mates to win the series, and it would be nice to have some prize money to share with them apart from what you get from individual races.”

Many of the usual suspects will be on the start line when the Tour of Pendle begins at 9am with Rapha Condor and Pinarello both fielding eight-man teams, but Plowman Craven are not riding, preferring to stay in the south for the Python RT Summer Road Race at Holyport, Berkshire.

While the Tour of Pendle is run over a 140-kilometre course, the Python RT event is 135 kilometres and takes in nine laps of a circuit taking in Maidens Green and Cranbourne before looping back around.

Plowman Craven riders have won the event for the last three years, and will be in no mood to relinquish that run.

Elsewhere, the National Junior Road Race Championships take place at Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire.

Time trialling 

After a break of several months for the national championships, the Rudy Project Time Trial Series resumes on Saturday with a 32-mile event at Great Witley, Worcestershire.

Promoted by the Wyre Forest CRc, the event has attracted all the main protagonists with National 100-mile champion Kevin Dawson (Sportscover.com) last man off.

Two minutes before Dawson is his former team-mate Richard Prebble (GS Strada), while off two minutes further back is Stuart Dangerfield (Wolverhampton Wheelers), the former national 10 and 25-mile champion who has returned from Australia.

As well as 27 seniors and 30 veterans, the event has attracted seven juniors, 10 women and two tandems. As well as being a round of the Rudy Project Series, the event is also the British Disability and Handcycling Time Trial Championship, which has attracted seven entries.

Elsewhere, the West Cheshire and Liverpool TTCA stage their 12-hour event at Prees in Shropshire on Sunday, while riders will tackle a similar distance in the North Midlands CF event at Barnby Moor, Nottinghamshire and also in the Kent CA event at Bethersden.

Also on Sunday is the Welsh 100-mile Championship near Abergavenny, while the Yorkshire CF also stage a 100 at Topcliffe, near Thirsk in North Yorkshire.

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