IN-FORM Pinarello RT rider Russell Downing took the leadership of the Premier Calendar away from brother Dean with a strong performance in the Tour of the Reservoir in County Durham on Sunday.
Downing sprinted clear on the climb to the finish at the end of the 140-kilometre event, crossing the line four seconds clear of Rapha Condor-Recycling rival Kristian House, while Plowman Craven RT had to settle for third spot, with Simon Richardson another second off the pace in third.
As in the previous week?s Girvan Three-Day, Russell Downing looked strong and was involved in almost all of the important moves, steadily marshalling the race until the top three broke away.
It was Kristian House who made the attack, but Downing was quickly on his wheel and proved more than a match for his rivals.
?When that original group of six went away early on I didn?t think we?d be away all day,? said Downing, who now leads the Premier Calendar by 20 points from his sibling.
?It?s nice to be leading the series but that?s not everything,? he said. ?I want to win bike races.?
Dean Downing took fourth, Rob Partridge fifth and Evan Oliphant sixth, meaning the Premier Calendar table received a good shake-up.
Russell now leads with 369, while Dean is now second with 349, Evan Oliphant is third on 285 while Rob Partridge has 271 and is fourth, Simon Richardson moving up to fifth.
Tour of the Reservoir, Co Durham (Premier Calendar round three).-
1 Russell Downing (Pinarello RT) 140km in 3-46-21
2 Kristian House (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 4sec
3 Simon Richardson (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles) at 5sec
4 Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 57sec
5 Rob Partridge (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 1-00
6 Evan Oliphant (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles) at 1-04