NEWTON FIRST AT ROCHDALE

Chris Newton edged out Russell Downing in a photo-finish at the Rochdale Grand Prix circuit race on Wednesday.

Newton was involved in numerous attacks over the course of the hour-long elite event but it was the move with Pinarello?s Downing that finally came off for the Rapha Condor man, giving him his third victory in the event in as many years.

RCR placed two riders on the podium as Kristian House clipped off the front of the bunch to claim third spot.

STEPHEN ROCHE AT THE GUILDFORD CRIT

1987 Tour winner Stephen Roche will be at the Guildford town centre races on Wednesday July 9. The Irishman will be on hand to present the prizes after the popular evening of races in Surrey. The tight, cobbled circuit in Guildford?s town centre always produces a great evening?s entertainment, partly due to the number of pubs on the short circuit. The 25 year-old event is this year sponsored by Sigma who?ll be fielding a strong team to take on last year?s runner up Warrick Spence. Racing starts at 7pm, with the Elite race at 8pm.

RAS DE CYMRU

The five-day Ras de Cymru kicked off on Wednesday with a four-mile time trial at Llangybi. Emma Pooley put in a strong performance against the men to finish 6th, seven seconds up on Nicole Cooke, currently lying 9th overall.

Second cat Tim Wallis (Red Kite Cycles) won the prologue and today defends his lead in a 53-mile road stage, followed by a 15-mile team time trial.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS AT TOUR OF BLACKPOOL

Reigning national criterium champion James McCallum and newly-crowned road race champion Rob Hayles will pound the Golden Mile on Friday in the Tour of Blackpool circuit race.

Rapha-Condor-Recycling, Pinarello and Plowman Craven all field full-strength teams in a bid to land the £400 first prize, but the self-styled ?Dynamic Duo? of Hayles and Halfords Bikehut team mate Tom Southam will be in the mix. Pearl Izumi youngsters Liam Holohan and Jon Mozley are usually there or thereabouts and will be looking to put one over on the big boys.

Racing starts at 7pm with the Grand Prix des Dames women?s race, followed by the elite men at 8.15pm.

PARAMEDICS RACE AROUND PORC

Here?s a mountain bike challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, which should hold no fears for the 150 riders expected to ride it. This is the second Blazing Saddles 24-hour Bike Challenge in Kent on September 12 and 13.

Why? Because the Paramedic Emergency Service Cyclists will not just be organising it, but riding it!

So anyone who comes a cropper will have first aid on tap. The event takes place at PORC ? Penshurst Off Road Club near Tonbridge ? the wooded circuit bidding to be adopted as the 2012 Olympics venue.

Each hilly circuit of eight kilometres should take about 30 minutes to lap. The event is held in honour of the paramedic cycling team?s founder, Thomas Lynch, to raise funds for Macmillan who supported him during his short battle with cancer. www.streamcity.co.uk/clients/transport/bikes.htm

PLACES AVAILABLE IN FINCHLEY RT RACE

There are still spaces left in the Finchley RT?s summer road race this Sunday. The 85 kilometre race for British Cycling registered third and fourth category riders, and women is being run on the Ridge Circuit at South Mimms in Hertfordshire. The race offers something a little different with a 1.5 mile section of farm track on every lap. The race covers 6 laps of a 14km circuit and finishes at the top of Ridge Hill. The HQ is Ridge Village Hall (EN6 3LP)