Thurcroft’s Dean wins Sheffield Grand Prix

Dean Downing celebrates after winning the Sheffield Grand Prix
Dean Downing celebrates after winning the Sheffield Grand Prix
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Thurcroft race ace Dean Downing was crowned winner of the Sheffield Grand Prix, amid confusion at the finish line.

The 10.000-strong crowd watching the final Elite Circuit Series race had to wait several minutes for the result, while the judges decided on the top three places.

Pictured is Cyclist Dean Downing against the backdrop of the Sheffield Peace Gardens..MY FAVOURITE PLACES

Pictured is Cyclist Dean Downing against the backdrop of the Sheffield Peace Gardens..MY FAVOURITE PLACES

Madison Genesis rider Downing, 39, took first place, with his younger brother Russ, 35, coming in third for Net App Endura.

It was an all-Yorkshire podium with Doncaster’s Graham Briggs taking second place for Team Raleigh.

As the leading bunch of around 20 riders sprinted towards the Pinstone Street finish line, they were caught up amongst lapped riders.

Dean said: “I was just lucky to cross the line first.”

“There was a lot of confusion, we came hard round the last corner and there were a bunch of lapped riders all over the road.”

“It’s one of those things, it was a bit confusing for us.”

“I was the lucky one who came round the last corner first.”

Dean said the win felt surreal because it was on home turf, and he was able to celebrate with his family at the finish.

He remembered watching the Sheffield race when he was growing up.

This is the second year it has been held since being resurrected.

He said: “It’s great to win on home ground. It was a really fast pace and there was a lot of attacking.”

“Russ took the front for a bit, then I did, and Graham Briggs did.”

“Team Raleigh were doing a bit of attacking, and I did a bit. I only had one team mate with me and Russ didn’t have any.”

“It was a diffuclt course, it was uphill on corners and there were cobbles.”

He and Russ have raced together many times over the years and were tucked in close for a large part of the race, which took place on a 1.4km circuit around the city centre.

Russ was wearing the red, white and blue stripes earned when he took the title of National Circuit Race Champion last Sunday at York.

The overall winner of the Elite Circuit Series was Leicester’s George Atkins.

The Sheffield event also included the Women’s Grand Prix which was won by Helen Wyman, riding for the Kona/FSA Factory Team.

She established an early lead and and was on her own when she crossed the finish line, arms raised in triumph.

The Sheffield Grand Prix was organised by Marc Etches of SheffRec cycling club.

The undoubted success of the Sheffield Grand Prix, in atrracting thousands of cheering spectators on a balmy summer evening, bodes well for next year’s Tour de France Grand Depart.

Sheffield will provide the finish line on the second day’s racing.