Wednesday’s British News Round-up

Not currently riding in the Tour of Britain, after focusing his summer on his criterium campaign, Dean Downing will head to Australia for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

“It makes my season a bit longer, but it cuts my winter by about a month,” enthused Downing.

“Last year my season finished at the Richmond Grand Prix on September 21, so it extends my summer a bit.

“I did the race in 2004 and 2005 with GB and Recyling and I wore the yellow jersey for a couple of days. I’m really looking forward to it, and it will be good to ride against some ProTour teams in some good weather.

“It’d be great to finish the season on a high with a good result for me and the team.

“I’ve not done many stage races this year, so hopefully I’ll be going well against some of the teams who aren’t so fresh at the end of the year,” said Downing.

Rapha squad for Sun Tour: Kristian House, Tom Southam, Darren Lapthorne, Ben Greenwood, Dan Craven, Dean Downing, Matt Cronshaw

This year’s Sun Tour runs from October 11-17.

Dean Downing, Blackpool Nocturne 2009

Above: Downing senior in action at the Blackpool Nocturne

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It’s that time of year again: road racing is beginning to wind down, cyclo-cross is starting to heat up (well, metaphorically speaking) and the Bicycle Film Festival is returning to London.

Originating in New York City, the Film Festival has become an important voice for the culture, history, sport and relevance of the bicycle across the globe.

In its ninth year, the Festival makes its fifth appearance in London.

Starting on September 24, and hosted at London’s Barbican Centre, the festival will screen a diverse range of cycling-related films. Highlights this year include: Where Are You Go directed by Benny Zenga and Brian Vernor, I Love My Bicycle: The Story of FBM Bikes directed by Joe Stakun, and The Third Wheel directed by Brian Schoenfelder.

The Festival will also feature a variety of bike rides and events surrounding the screenings.

A night of roller racing presented thanks to Rollapaluza will set the ball rolling on Friday night whilst on Saturday, there will be a host of rides, including a women’s ride, an endurance road ride, and BMX street jam.

All BFF events are open to the public and participation is strongly encouraged. Tickets to the festival are available via For complete program listings please see

Bicycle Film Festival

Cyclo-cross specialist Gabby Day, formerly of Nicole Cooke’s Vision 1 team, has announced that she will be supported in the upcoming ‘cross season by Qoleum Sports Care and TRP brakes.

The Briton, who was second in the 2009 national cyclo-cross championships, will ride the ‘cross season in the colours of the Geoff Thomas Foundation and will be based in Belgium.

Pippa Handley, of the Dutch Tuabanters squad, won the Zouid Holland Time Trial series this year and almost by accident.

“To be honest, the Zouid-Holland TT series was not a goal this year,” explained the Briton, “I use them as training as I enjoy TTs and rarely get to do any as part of my racing schedule in the team and actually missed a few of the TTs that were part of the series”.  

After her win in Holland, Handley headed to France for the UCI 1.1-ranked Chrono Champenois Féminin, won by Britain’s Wendy Houvenaghel.

“I came 11th, gaining some UCI points although my lack of TTs and TT training was very apparent in the time gaps,” said the Briton. “I have not done a TT that long in over two years and was a very hard course with huge amount of side wind”.

Nevertheless, the valuable UCI points will stand Handley in good stead for the months to come.

Londoners are gearing up for what looks set to be a festival of cycling in the capital this weekend, with the Tour of Britain on Saturday followed by the Mayor of London’s Skyride on Sunday.

If you submit the email addresses of five friends or family that you would like to ride with on Sunday, you will be entered into a competition to win a signed Chris Hoy shirt thanks to British Cycling and Sky.  

See for more details.

Riders in Transport for London’s Cycle Fridays commuting rides into the capital this Friday will be automatically entered into a Tour of Britain prize fund.

The lucky winner will be presented with two VIP hospitality area tickets on Victoria Embankment for the final stage of the Tour of Britain in London. They will also be awarded the chance to present the eventual race winner with the final race-winning yellow jersey on the podium.

“Cycle Fridays have created a buzz with cyclists who had needed a helping hand to take up biking regularly,” explained Kulveer Ranger, Transport Adviser to the Mayor of London.

“What better way to inspire these budding cyclists than to give them the chance to be a part of London’s biggest ever weekend of cycling. The various events in the capital will help people discover the cleanest, greenest way of getting about, and will make a great conclusion to a fantastic summer of cycling”.

For more on Cycling Fridays, see

Monday’s British news