VS Cycles Brighouse Circuit Races

VS Cycles Brighouse Circuit Races

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VS Cycles Brighouse Circuit Races

July 7, 2009; Brighouse (Yorkshire)
By Larry Hickmott

Dean Downing showed his younger brother Russell (right) just what a great sprint he has when they raced each other in a shoot out down the Brighouse high street in front of a big crowd. Jeroen  Janssen meanwhile came back from being dropped by the chase group to outsprint them for third.


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In front of a surprisingly large crowd who braved the heavy rain and cold conditions, Dean Downing (Rapha Condor), wore his champion stripes with pride in the latest British Cycling Elite Circuit Series event at Brighouse where the Rotherham rider defeated his younger brother in a two up sprint finish.

A wet night out in Yorkshire
Despite the forecasters saying the showers would ease in the evening, the rain continued to tumble down over Brighouse in West Yorkshire on Tuesday evening (July 7) for the VC Cycles Brighouse circuit races. Starting at 7pm, the organisers had three races on the programme starting with one for category 3-4 riders followed by a Youth race and then the Elite Circuit Series race.

Despite a lull in the rain for all of half an hour before racing began, no sooner had the 3-4 event began, the rain really began to fall heavily again. With the road wet and slippery, and many riders willing to take the circuit on, the field in the 3-4 race was soon lined out and splitting as the stronger riders took control and those with some grip pulled away from the rest.

By the final quarter of the race, the event was being lead by a lone rider, Martin Woffindin (Sport City Velo) and the young rider continued to hold off what was left of the main field which was now down to only 10 or so riders strong with the rest of the unlapped riders spread out around the circuit and those who had been lapped, being pulled out by the race officials.

Winner in the 3/4 race was youngster Martin Woffindin.

With the crowd getting bigger and cheering Woffindin on from under their umbrellas, the chasers were unable to close the gap down and at the finish, the Sport City Velo rider had nine seconds in hand over the next rider, Marc Etches (Sheffrec CC) who won the group sprint ahead of the winner’s teammates Jack Penrice and Jordan Hargreaves both of Sport City Velo.

A quick presentation of prizes followed as the rain continued before the Youth riders were let loose to race for 15 minutes or so on the circuit around the town centre of Brighouse. The final victory in the race overall went to Chris Latham who made it two out of two for the Sport City Velo club who also won the girls prize in the Youth race and look to have many very talented up and coming riders.

As the presentation to the Youth riders was made, the Elite riders came onto the circuit for a warm-up before their race commenced at 8.20pm. Series leader Ian Wilkinson was a non-starter for Halfords but the next three on the standings, Matt Cronshaw, Ed Clany and Chris Newton were all riding in the field of 60 riders. Very quickly the race got going and up to speed and through the start/finish first time, the Madison.co.uk riders in their new kit led the race down the high street cheered on by the crowd.

It was a really wet start to the Elite Circuit Series event in Brighouse.

Next lap, the men in black, Rapha Condor upped the pace even more and soon had riders struggling at the back to maintain contact. Lap by lap, the attacks came and went and the group at the front got ever smaller with Rapha Condor and CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta well represented and driving the race along.

Halfords Bikehut however were having a nightmare of a race with Rob Hayles falling and then puncturing. Mike Smith on the microphone informed everyone that Rob was only allowed one lap out and so after the puncture and another lap out, Rob was a lap down.  By this time, a break of 10 or so riders were down the road and Hayles was in no-mans land trying to get across before suddenly came the announcement that Hayles was being told to retire by a commissaire. All this and we hadn’t even been racing for 15 minutes.

Whilst Rob went back to his team car to get warm and dry, the race carried on but the bad luck for Halfords did so as well with Andy Tennant falling twice, Ed Clancy dropping away from the chasers and soon they only had one rider in the race, Rob Partridge. The leading group meanwhile was continuing to rip up the course and was soon down to only five riders.

With the rain bouncing off the road, Matt Cronshaw and Graham Briggs open up a gap at the front of the race.

Rapha had two men up there, Kristian House and Dean Downing and CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta also had two in Russell Downing and Graham Briggs. The rider in the middle of it all was Jeroen Janssen from Madison.

It was impossible to keep up with all the different combinations of moves that were going off the front. House would go and get pulled back before Dean Downing would try and he’d be joined by Graham Briggs. That would get pulled back and another attack would go and this carried on lap after lap until with around 10 laps to go and the evening getting ever darker, the two Downing brothers, Dean and Russell, riding for opposing teams, got clear.

Their teammates in the three chasers behind were happy to let them go and so it was left to Janssen to chase as he had been for quite a while already. Chasing down this final move by the two Downings though was proving to be an uphill task for the Dutchman and it got worse when his fellow chasers started to attack him once the gap to the leaders had grown significantly. A few laps out and Janssen was dropped from the chasers.

He did however carry on chasing the chasers and got back on in the closing laps whilst out front, Russell Downing turned up the heat on his elder brother over the final two or three laps. Coming down the start/finish straight with a lap to go, Russell Downing was giving it full gas and the gap to Dean was telling – would he be able to claw his brother back before the sprint.

The answer was an emphatic yes and as they came into view, the Downing brothers chose to sprint down opposite sides of the road and on the finish line, it was close, very close but the rider in the champion’s jersey which was now rather grey from the nights racing, raised his arms in victory. The win was Dean’s in a Downing 1-2.

The two of them came around together, acknowledging each other’s great ride as they came down the finish straight before being led up onto the podium along with Jeroen Janssen who had outsprinted Briggs and House for third. Once the presentation was complete, I grabbed a few words with them.

The drag race between both Downing brothers for victory in the Brighouse Circuit Race.

Dean Downing: Asked whether it was slippery out there with all that water flowing around the circuit, Dean replied “it didn’t feel that slippery actually. We all had around 6.5 bar in the tyres and we were all right. It was horrible weather but a good circuit and the organisers here at Brighouse always put on a brilliant race. It was good to get away with Russ as he’s a good worker and I think he misjudged the finish as it was so wet.”

“I don’t there have been many races where Russ and I have been in a break together like that”. Russell then mentioned the one at Lincoln. “I seem to be coming into some form after the Tour Series” Dean went on to say,  “and haven’t really done much road training in between them.” Dean then said that between now and the national circuit race championships, he may be having a few sleepless nights as his wife is due to give birth any day now. Good luck to both of them for their first child.

Russell Downing: “That was a good race” Russell told me, adding “I didn’t think it would be when I was sat in the car at ten past eight!” Asked if he attacked Dean on the bell lap, Russell replied “There was a bit of cat and mouse going on and I went on the right just to have a look at how he was.”

“So, yeah, I tweaked it a bit but I knew it would come down to a sprint.” Asked what the difference was out there between Brighouse and the races at the Tour Series, Russell explained “in the Tour Series everyone wanted to keep it together but when it’s a race like this where we’re all going for the win, it’s who dares wins. And that was what it was out there tonight which was good.”

“It was myself and Graham (Briggs) who were attacking the Rapha’s and it was just a matter of which move was going to get away.” On losing the sprint to his elder brother Dean, the CandiTV rider nicknamed ‘Fonzy’ told me “I think he got the run out of the corner better and sprinting from a dead start with cold legs out of that bottom corner, I think I went too early.”

Jeroen Janssen:  The Madison.co.uk rider admitted on stage he was loving all the circuit races this year as they were something he was good at. After the podium presentation, the winner of the first round of the Elite Circuit Series at Hillingdon explained  “Those last few laps were really hard. I had to do all the work because there was a Rapha and a Pinarello rider with me. I really wanted though to get on the podium with the new jersey though and am so glad I managed to win that sprint and do that.” 

Jeroen Janssen wins the sprint for third.

Photos (more to come later)

Soon to be a father, Dean Downing celebrates a fabulous victory after a shoot out with his brother Russell.

Newly crowned British Road Race champion Kristain House and Graham Briggs open up a gap on Jeroen Janssen but the Dutchman came back at them and beat them in the sprint.

Kristian House attacking from the leading group of five in the latter stages of the circuit race.

Dean Downing on the attack from the leading five. The final stages was marked by the constant moves off the front making it a great race for the spectators.

Chris Newton driving the peloton along during the opening laps causing splits to open up in the large group

A father for the second time 10 days ago to a son, Rob Hayles did not have a good night. First he fell (as did Ed Clancy and others) and then he punctured but the officials were only allowing one lap out and after the second lap out for the puncture, and being a lap down, Rob was pulled from the race after only 10 minutes of racing.

Rapha Condor and Matt Cronshaw out to split the race up from the word go.


A lone winner in the 3/4 race was youngster Martin Woffindin. Second was Marc Etches (right) and third was Jack Penrize (left)

Sprint for second place in the 3/4 race

Start of the 3/4 race in heavy rain which didn't stop the night of racing in Brighouse being a great success thanks to the organisation, the big crowd and the attacking racing

The heavy rain didn't deter a large group of young riders from starting the Youth race

PROVISIONAL RESULT (Subject to change)
1. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor
2. Russell Downing, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
3. Jeroen Janssen, Madison.co.uk @28 seconds
4. Graham Briggs, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
5. Kristian House, Rapha Condor
6. Chris Newton, Rapha Condor @53
7. Liam Holohan, Rapha Condor @55
8. Scott Thwaites, Madison.co.uk
9. Jon Mozley, Madison.co.uk
10. Pete Williams, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta @ 1 lap
11. Matt Cronshaw, Rapha Condor
12. Tom Barras, Madison.co.uk
13. Rhys Lloyd, Rapha Condor
14. Andy Tinsley, Science in Sport
15. James Sampson, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
16. David Clarke, Pendragon Kalas
17. Rob Partridge, Halfords Bikehut
18. Thomas Moses, Team Walllis Chh CT
19. Alistair Rutherford, Science in Sport

Category 3/4
1. Martin Woffindin, Sport City Velo
2. Marc Etches, Sheffrec CC @ 9 seconds
3. Jack Penrice, Sport City Velo
4. Jordan Hargreaves,
5. Sam Boast, Sport City Velo
6. Ben Kellett, Holme Valley Wheelers
7. Andrew Marshall, VC Cycles
8. Andrew Marsh, Dinnington RC
9. Daniel Shoreman, Yorkshire Velo
10. Andrew Donaldson, Kingsworth Int Wh

Youth
1. Chris Latham, Sport City Velo
2. Scott Woodhead, Crosstrax
3. Jacon Regan, Sportcity Velo