Monday’s British news round-up

Dean Downing missed the Tour of Britain to focus on criteriums and yesterday his gamble paid off.

A fourth place in the Preston GP was enough to ensure that Downing wrapped up an overall win in the Elite National Circuit Race Series.

“I was a little disappointed not to win yesterday, but really pleased to take the overall,” said Downing, “it’s the proof of a good season for me.

“Graham Briggs attacked from the start and everyone just looked at each other. We just couldn’t peg him back and then I got worked over in the sprint by the two Robs, Partridge and Hayles”.

Downing scored well throughout the series, including two wins, to give him the overall title.

“It’s a great way to see off the year and the crits have really been my goal this season. I’ve had a great season and I want to thank my team and John Herety [team manager] as well”.

Downing’s next target is the Sun Tour in Australia, in early October. “I didn’t do the Tour of Britain but I’ve still been training hard and doing four to five hour rides. It’d be nice to finish the season with a stage win and I think everyone on the team is capable of it,” Downing added.

British cyclo-cross champion, Helen Wyman, got her ‘cross season off to a flying start with a win in the Star Cross event, part of the North American Cyclo-cross Trophy.

Riding in the colours of her new team, Kona/FSA, Wyman was eager to make an impression in her first race in the USA.

Sue Butler took the lead from the line, but Wyman quickly battled past before the first set of planks on the tight, twisty course. From there, Wyman took control of the race ahead of a group of three, including Butler and Alison Dunlap.

Wyman made her move on lap two and managed to get away from the following pack, building a lead of some 40 seconds. However, a slip on lap five put the Briton back in sight of the chasers.  

Wyman remained calm and set about stretching her lead again and finished the race with a 30-second advantage over Butler.

Helen now leads the NACT series and will take that lead to the next race, Rad Crossed.

Star Cross Results:
1. Helen Wyman (Kona/FSA)

2. Sue Butler (Monavie/Cannondale)

3. Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix)

4. Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain – Maxxis)

5. Kari Studley (Velo Bella)

6. Emily Van Meter (Hudz/Subaru)

7. Wendy Williams (Hudz/Subaru)

8. Sarah Stewart (Total Restoration Cycling Team)

9. Jenni Gaertner (Vertical Earth)

10. Kristi Berg (Redline)

Helen WymanUSA
Above: an elated Wyman celebrates on the podium

Spanish bike manufacturer plans to co-sponsor a British domestic team next season, replacing the role that BMC has played for the eponymous squad.

The team aims to compete in the Premier Calendar, Tour Series and the National Circuit Race Series.

“I started work putting the team together [for 2010] when I heard that the UK distribution of BMC would be changing in 2010 and, in Orbea, we couldn’t have found a more supportive and passionate  sponsor,” explained BMC team manager, James Whatling.

“Orbea have been fantastic, I went to the factory in Mallabia in the Basque Country last week to finalise the deal and was met with nothing but enthusiasm for the UK team.

“As well as providing the team with Onix bikes, we will also be wearing their Odin helmets and Orbea team clothing”.

Rider information and further sponsorship details will be released in due course.

The oldest continuing bike race in the world, running since 1886, the Catford Hill Climb returns for another year on Sunday October 11.

In 1983, Phil Mason (San Fairy Ann CC) broke the record on Yorks Hill in this event, once considered the ‘Championsip of all England’.  

He recorded a time of 1-47.6secs knocking a massive 7.4 seconds off the previous record, an unprecedented achievement. Despite the emergence of scientific training methods and advances in modern bike technology his record still stands today, over a quarter of a century later.

The organisers are offering a prize of £250 to anyone who can beat Mason’s record and the winner could walk away with over £800 in prizes.

Anyone who fancies this lung-searing challenge and wants to compete for a share of the prizes should enter before October 1. See

Event Organiser: Dave Marshall – 30, Jay Close, Eastbourn, E.Sussex BN23 7RW – 01323 76784 –

A showdown at the upcoming Brompton World Championships is promised with Alistair Kay and Roberto Heras, first and second last year, both confirmed to ride.

Last year Heras narrowly lost out to home-grown, non-professional talent Kay, a result to which the Spaniard did not take too kindly.

“This year’s [event] promises to be even better than last year’s; not only are we fully subscribed, we are also lucky enough to have Roberto Heras, three-time Tour of Spain winner, back on the course,” said Katharine Horsman, event organizer.

“The course itself is unchanged; however, due to the increased numbers of participants, 200 up on last year, we have introduced a self-streaming system based on competitors’ expected finish times. We believe this will ensure a safer and more fun environment for the vast variety of racers taking part.”

The event, part of Bike Blenheim Palace on October 4, is now fully subscribed but spectators are more than welcome.

The season may be winding down slightly, but it’s not quite over yet.

This autumn, Andy Cook is offering riders the chance to wind down in Majorca after a busy summer and plan ahead for next year with like-minded cyclists and qualified coaches.

See or call 07811156141 for more details.