Russell and Dean Downing’s Out of the Saddle charity fund-raising event held on Saturday evening in Rotherham has been branded a success after over £5,000 was raised on the night.
The third running of the popular event at the Charnwood Hotel attracted a crowd of 230 people and a host of star guests, including Sky professionals Alex Dowsett and Ben Swift, Rapha Condor Sharp riders Graham Briggs and James McCallum, former pro and 1987 Tour veteran Adrian Timmis, Milk Race winner Chris Walker and, of course, the Downing brothers themselves.
“We’re delighted to have hosted another great evening for charity and were keen to support a cause that would help families in our close cycling community,” said Dean Downing. “It’s great fun at the end of the season, especially after a long racing year.”
Eurosport commentator David Harmon was on hand to compere the charity auction and interview the star guests on stage.
The auction included many desirable items donated by some well-known riders, including Bradley Wiggins’ signed red leader’s jersey from this year’s Vuelta a Espana where the Sky rider placed third overall.
A total of £5,315 was raised by the auction with proceeds going to CRY UK, the charity that raises awareness of conditions that can lead to cardiac arrest in the young.
The charity is of great relevance to the Downings as two local cyclists have died young as a result of cardiac conditions – Pete Hinchcliffe and Lewis Barry.
“I raced with Pete Hinchcliffe, and knew Lewis Barry had high hopes of following in a lot of the riders footsteps from this area,” said Russell Downing.
“It was really important for us to support something that mattered to us, so thanks to our cycling friends for coming out in force.”
David Harmon interviews Sky pros Ben Swift, Russell Downing and Alex Dowsett
Bradley Wiggins’ Vuelta leader’s jersey up for auction
David Harmon and Dean Downing (left)
A big turn-out for the third running of the charity fund-raiser