Downing brothers to do battle in Sheffield city centre

Experienced: Dean Downing
Experienced: Dean Downing
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IT has been a long wait for the Downing brothers to do battle in such a local venue to their Rotherham base.

But tonight elder sibling Dean will try and hold off brother Russell over the streets of Sheffield city centre in the final round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series. The Claremont Sheffield Grand Prix is the seventh stop in the series after races in Brighouse, Stafford, Stockton, Abergavenny, Colne and Beverley.

Doncaster’s Graham Briggs of Team Raleigh - GAC has already taken the overall title from last year’s winner Dean Downing, but it will be the brothers who will provide most interest with either capable of crossing the line first.

Dean, aged 37, who rides for Rapha Condor-Sharp, said: “This has been the best supported event in terms of the quality on the entry list.

“It could be a battle between myself and Russ - I know he’s well up for it - but Brigga (Briggs) has been riding brilliantly and can’t be caught at the top.

“Russ had a run out at Beverley the other night because this style of riding is a lot different to the stage racing he has been doing.”

With cycling enjoying a popular time following Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory, Downing says the Sheffield Grand Prix will provide some top-class racing.

“This is very much an individual race as apposed to the earlier series which was team based. The guys will work for each other but if it comes down to me Russ and Brigga I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership Director at British Cycling, said: “We are pleased to be able to bring the Elite Series and the Women’s Championships to this great location on what promises to be an action-packed evening of elite cycle sport in Sheffield. “The inaugural event will provide a showcase for city centre bike racing as well as a spectacle for the people of Sheffield as they witness the country’s top cyclists race on their own city centre streets.”

An event programme has been produced and will be distributed on the night, free of charge. For more information on the Claremont Sheffield Grand Prix, visit