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50th Lincoln International GP - 1.2
Great Britain, May 8, 2005
Double Downing works wonders
By Gerry McManus
Brothers Russell and Dean Downing (recycling.co.uk/MG/XPower) took first and second respectively in the 50th running of the Lincoln Grand Prix in the UK on Sunday 8th May. Russell broke free from Dean on the final climb of the day to take the victory he had always dreamed of.
The dynamic duo from Thurcroft in South Yorkshire, were in the action from the outset of the 102-mile race when a strong breakaway group went clear soon after the start. A group of 16 riders worked steadily to stay clear of a bunch, which surprisingly included a number of pre-race favourites including Roger Hammond (Discovery Channel) and Matt Stephens (Sigma Sport RT).
As the last laps counted down Russell attacked the group, taking Dean and Yanto Barker (DFL) along for company and the trio built a solid lead.
"This is a race where the run to the climb is very fast and you have to get to the front at the bottom," said Dean. "Chris [Newton] led up the first climb with me and Russell [Downing] on his wheel and it stretched it out a bit. I'm not sure what happened behind, but suddenly we had 16 riders and we worked together straight away, and the gap went up quite quickly."
"Then with six laps to go, it had thinned out a bit. Russell has been flying recently and when he made a move with Yanto [Barker - DFL], I just knew I had to get to them. Yanto was going well and it's a pity he didn't hang on for third. With two laps to go he was struggling; he dropped off on the climb, and we worked hard to put as much time into him as we could."
"Russell and I only live about 35 miles from here, and every lap on the climb we could hear: 'Come on Dean' and 'Come on Russ'. It was hard to concentrate in the first few laps, because we were trying to see who was there. All credit to Ian Emmerson and the organising team for getting another brilliant race in at Lincoln."
26 year-old Russell was delighted winning the event. "This is the one to be in. I used to always ride out to watch the race when I was younger. I even rode out here once with a broken foot and ever since then, I said that this was the one to win. I came here a couple of years ago and the total atmosphere was enough to drag me out of early retirement and here I am, two years on, winning it."
Russell was also full of praise for Yanto Barker. "When Dean came across to us, Yanto could have easily sat on, knowing that we could take turns attacking him, but he rode himself into the ground and did a good ride. None of us were soft tapping. With two to go, I just tweaked it a bit on the climb, dropped them both and waited for Dean over the climb, and we rode hard into the finish."
Barker was unlucky to be caught on the last lap to finish eighth, with Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello) sprinting in to take third place, nine seconds clear of Rob Sharman, who almost helped recycling.co.uk to take all three podium spots.
Russell Downing's next major target is the national championships in June.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Gerry McManus/www.gerrymcmanus.co.uk
1 Russell Downing (GBr) Recycling.co.uk 3.55.12 (41.84 km/h) 2 Dean Downing (GBr) Recycling.co.uk 0.06 3 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) Pinarello RT 2.36 4 Rob Sharman (GBr) Recycling.co.uk 2.45 5 Martin Ford (GBr) Team Rochelle 6 Andrew Roche (Irl) Team Rochelle 7 Duncan Urquart (GBr) Viner Bikes/Agis 8 Yanto Barker (GBr) Team DFL 9 Paul Manning (GBr) Recycling.co.uk 3.00 10 Scot Gamble (GBr) Ashfield RC 3.12 11 Andy Collis (GBr) De Rosa RT 3.30 12 Anthony Malarczyk (GBr) Fujibikes UK 13 Chris Newton (GBr) Recycling.co.uk 4.26 14 Evan Oliphant (GBr) Scotland 15 Philip Dixon (GBr) Team DFL 16 John Tanner (GBr) Planet X RT 17 Andrew Randell (Can) Jet Fuel Team 4.55 18 Haralds Pudans (Lat) Diametal Colnago 6.52 19 Tjarco Cuppens (Ned) Diametal Colnago 20 Rik Kavsek (Ned) Diametal Colnago 21 David Verdonck (Bel) Diametal Colnago 22 Frank Van Kuik (Ned) Diametal Colnago 23 Mark Lovatt (GBr) Planet X RT 24 Matthew Stephens (GBr) Sigma Sport 25 Matthew Higgins (GBr) Unattached 7.08 26 Roy Chamberlain (GBr) Team MK 27 Ian Field (GBr) Trek UK 28 Alex Higham (GBr) Stilton RT 29 Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Giant Racing 30 Stephen O'Sullivan (Irl) Team Cyleways 31 Ian Bibby (GBr) Trek UK 32 Roger Hammond (GBr) Discovery Channel 33 Gareth Jones (GBr) Fujibikes UK 34 Eugene Moriarty (Irl) Team Cyleways.Co 35 Dale Appleby (GBr) Wales 7.48
2004 David O'Loughlin (Irl) Total Cycling 2003 Mark Lovatt (GBr) Life Repair Cycle Race Team 2002 Huw Pritchard (GBr) AngliaSport 2001 John Tanner (GBr) Ribble/ProVision 2000 Chris Newton (GBr) Middridge CRT 1999 Saulius Ruskis (Ltu) Team Oktos - MBK 1998 Chris Lillywhite (GBr) 1997 John Tanner (GBr) 1996 Kevin Dawson (GBr) 1995 Mark Walsham (GBr) 1994 Chris Walker (GBr) 1993 Keith Reynolds (GBr) 1992 John Charlesworth (GBr) 1991 Paul Curran (GBr) 1990 Brian Smith (GBr) 1989 Mark Gornall (GBr) 1988 Paul Curran (GBr) 1987 Paul Curran (GBr) 1986 Paul Curran (GBr) 1985 Darryl Webster (GBr) 1984 Neil Martin (GBr) 1983 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) 1982 Mark Bell (GBr) 1981 Phil Thomas (GBr) 1980 Steve Joughin (GBr) 1979 Geoff Taylor (GBr) 1978 Steve Lawrence (GBr) 1977 Dave Cuming (GBr) 1976 Bill Nickson (GBr) 1975 Tony Gornall (GBr) 1974 Steve Heffernan (GBr) 1973 Dave Vose (GBr) 1972 Phil Edwards (GBr) 1971 Dave Allen (GBr) 1970 Tom Mullins (GBr) 1969 Pete Smith (GBr) 1968 Doug Dailey (GBr) 1967 Des Thompson (NZl) 1966 John Clarey (GBr) 1965 Arthur Durha (GBr) 1964 Albert Hitchen (GBr) 1963 Albert Hitchen (GBr) 1962 Jim Grieves (GBr) 1961 John Perks (GBr) 1960 John Perks (GBr) 1959 Ron Coe (GBr) 1958 Ron Coe (GBr) 1957 Ron Coe (GBr) 1956 Bob Eastwood (GBr) Past winners courtesy of Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com