DOWNING PROVES A REAL RESERVOIR DOG
A DOUBLE stage winner in the opening round three weeks ago, Dean Downing sprinted to victory in round two of the Premier Calendar, the Tour of the Reservoir in County Durham on Sunday.
The Rapha Condor Racing Team leader from South Yorkshire was part of a 19-rider break which attacked on the first of seven 20-kilometre laps of Derwent Reservoir.
That group was whittled down gradually as the pace increased, leaving four riders to contest the sprint.
Downing attacked with four miles remaining, but despite being pulled back managed to hold off his rivals in the sprint for the line, Gordon McCauley (Plowman Craven RT) taking second and Robin Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles) third.
Downing had just one team-mate in the original break of 19 in Italian Giancarlo Cecchi, while McCauley was one of four Plowman Craven riders in the leading group, and they tried to push home their advantage with a series of attacks.
But they all came to nothing, and eventually both McCauley and Downing found themselves alone in the break as the pace took its toll. As they reached the line Jason MacIntyre (Team Velo Ecosse) hung on to the back of the leaders to take fourth.
Meanwhile a break of 14 had gone off the front of the bunch, but they had left it too late to threaten the leaders, with Andy Roche (Pinarello RT) the best of the chasing group, 1-32 down.
Tour of the Reservoir (Premier Calendar round two, Edmundbyers, County Durham): 1, Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor RT) 140km in 3-40-46; 2, G. McCauley (Plowman Craven RT); 3, R. Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles) all same time; 4, J. MacIntyre (Team Velo Ecosse) at 6sec; 5, A. Roche (Pinarello RT) at 1-32; 6, D. Staite (Maximuscle) at 1-46.