Winning still on radar for Downing as he winds down

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In his last year as a top level professional rider, Rotherham’s Dean Downing proved he still has the winning habit when he took victory in the Leazes Park Criterium in Newcastle.

The 39-year-old NFTO rider edged to a narrow win ahead of a trio of Madison Genesis riders, but beat them all by less than a second with Liam Holohan, Ian Bibby and Tom Stewart second, third and fourth.

And in the Curlew Cup women’s national series race at Stamfordham in Northumberland on Sunday, Sheffield’s Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness) boosted her overall placing when she sprinted home in third spot behind title rivals Katie Archibald and Nicola Juniper.

In time trialling, Scunthorpe Poly CC ace Richard Robinson took second spot in the Yorkshire Road Club 25-mile event, staged over two laps of a course near Thirsk.

Robinson clocked 52-29, but overall victory went to Darlington-based Keith Murray (Ferryhill Wheelers) whose time of 50-11 was just seven seconds away from breaking the course record currently held by Leeds’ Andy Jackson.

Stockton Wheelers’ Paul Thirling was the man home in third with 52-51.

Meanwhile, Team Swift’s Joel Wainman, from Hessle, finished third in the tough Eastern Counties CA 100-mile time trial in Essex yesterday.

He covered the course near Ugley in 3-39-13 and was around five minutes slower than event winner, the reigning national hill-climb champion Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy RT) who clocked 3-34-19.

Earlier in the week, Wainman won round three of Team Swift’s 10-mile league with an emphatic performance.

He clocked 18-50 to win by ten seconds from Keith Murray, while Scott Burns (Manchester Wheelers) came in third on the course which was based around South Cave.