Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Recycling) stepped up his bid for the National Elite Circuit Series crown with two good performances in the weekend’s main races.
The Yorkshireman took victory in the Brentwood Town Centre Races in Essex on Sunday where he also secured bonus points in the intermediate sprints, and with fourth spot in Saturday’s Smithfield Nocturne in
Downing was attacking all day at
While the fast pace ensured many of the weaker riders dropped out of the back of the bunch, at the front of the race the pace was blistering and only Rob Hayles, the Halfords Bikehut rider from Derbyshire, looked up to the challenge of clawing back Downing. He battled to within eight seconds of his rival, but just failed to catch his wheel and eventually conceded, dropping back and crossing the line 28 seconds behind Downing, while Pearl Izumi rider Jeroen Janssen led in the bunch, another 16 seconds back.
Hayles had to settle for second spot 24 hours earlier in the Smithfield Nocturne, where Barloworld professional Geraint Thomas sprinted to victory in the event, which was the second in the Circuit Series. The winner of the opening round at Hillingdon a fortnight ago, Graham Briggs took third place at
While Downing will be contesting the next round of the series at Brighouse,
Elsewhere, Arctic Premier RT elite James Dobbin took victory in the Cycling Development North West League road race at Doveholes in Derbyshire on Sunday.
The reigning National Hill-Climb Champion from
And in Essex, Andrew Ballentyne (Easterley Road Club) was the winner of the Abberton Reservior Road Race at