Dean Downing joined brother Russell on list of Beaumont Trophy winners after coming through a bunch sprint finish to take a surprise victory in Stamfordham on Sunday.

The win catapults Madison Genesis into Premier Calendar contention, with their previous best-placed rider being Andy Tennant in ninth overall.

The race saw attack after attack fly in but nothing could stick until the later stages. A long string of around 40 riders formed at the head of the race, but even then it was difficult for anyone to get away as they kept reeling breakaways back in with ease.

On the final lap, Isle of Man rider Mark Christian (Team Raleigh) looked to have made a breakthrough as he caught the pack off guard, springing a 17-second gap at the front. But the 22-year-old couldn’t maintain the lead and he was soon swallowed up.

And so, inevitably, the race came down to a bunch sprint finish with around 40 riders still in with a shout of taking first place. But it was Dean Downing who burst through as the line approached, raising his arms to take victory by a bike length.

Dan Barry (Node4-Giordana) was second and third was Swede Niklas Gustavsson (Team UK Youth) who had won Friday evening’s Leazes Criterium held in Leazes Park, Newcastle.

Hannah Barnes wins in Curlew Cup

Earlier in the day, in the Women’s National Road Series Hannah Barnes claimed the first win of her campaign in the Curlew Cup.

The competition is wide open with four events left but MG-Maxifuel rider Barnes has threw her hat into the ring with a convincing victory in windy conditions.

The attacks started early on in the 55-mile race but anybody who attempted to make a break off the front was soon reeled back in.

But Anne Ewing (Breast Cancer Care) and Joanne Blakeley (Champion Systems) managed to lead for just over a lap and they were then joined by Barnes, Corinne Hall ( Matrix Fitness) and Lucy Coldwell (Breast Cancer Care).

As the final lap approached, the group had managed to open the gap to 1:30 over the peloton. It looked as though any of the front five could be in with a shout of victory but it was Barnes who pulled out a powerful sprint finish to take victory by five lengths.

She said: It was a hard race today and the wind made it very difficult to get away from the girls. I did try a few times on the climb near the finish but the wind was just too strong.”

And on Saturday nearly 3,500 cyclists, ranging from complete beginners to professionals from the IG Sigma Sport and Madison Genesis teams, took to the roads of Northumberland for the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge rides.