DOWNING HITS BACK TO WIN LINCOLN
DEAN Downing claimed his second victory in this year's Premier Calendar series when he raced through heavy rain to win the Lincoln Grand Prix on Sunday.
Reconstructing the result of the Tour of the Reservoir in March, the Rapha-Condor rider narrowly beat Gordon McCauley to the line after the pair escaped from a seven man lead group with ten miles of the 52 year old classic remaining.
"This means a lot," said an emotional Downing. "I live only 40 miles away and train round this way a bit. When I rode the junior version of this event, it was one of the last times my grandfather watched me race."
Downing's winning move on the final Michaelgate climb was no clear cut affair. He attacked McCauley at the bottom but found his wheel slipping on the wet cobbles as the New Zealander closed back on him. At the line Downing was still ahead but had it not been for the twisty nature of the finish in Castle Square, the result might have gone the other way.
But contrary to the foul weather which saw to a plethora of punctures and a number of crashes, the sun seemed to be shining on the Downing family. Accompanying Dean on the podium was his brother Russell who had led in the chase group for third place.
In taking fourth spot, Chris Newton moved into the ever shifting Premier Calendar lead for the third time this season. But with Newton instead opting to ride the FBD Insurance Ras in Ireland at the end of this month, it is likely to change hands yet again at the next round in Richmond.
Lincoln International Grand Prix (Premier Calendar Rnd 6).-
1 Dean Downing (Rapha Condor RT) 86 miles in 3-22-56
2 Gordon McCauley (Plowman Craven RT) same time
3 Russell Downing (Health Net-Maxxis) at 35sec
4 Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk)
5 Jon Dayus (Arctic-Shorter Rochford)
6 Peter McDonald (FRF Couriers) all st
Premier Calendar (provisional).-
1 Chris Newton 455
2 Ian Wilkinson 449
3 Dean Downing 404
4 Gordon McCauley 374
5 Rob Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles) 352
6 Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello RT) 341
Click here to view our gallery of photos from the Lincoln Grand Prix, taken by Andy Jones