Downing has the right criterium

Series winner: Dean Downing
Series winner: Dean Downing
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Rotherham cyclist Dean Downing has earned an early end to his season by winning the British Cycling criterium series.

Downing, who rides for top British team Rapha Condor Sharp, clinched the title in Preston after dominating the five-race competition from start to finish. The 36-year-old, Sunnyside-based rider had a first place, three second places and an eighth place finish to comfortably take the series victory. The criterium is an off-shoot of the old Kelloggs Tour race. Taking place in the town centres of Otley in West Yorkshire, Stafford, Abergavenny, Colne in Lancashire and Preston the riders compete over one hour plus five laps of the course.

Downing said focusing on the event means his season is now at an end: “It’s quite a specialised race so all my training was geared to that. To train for the criterium and 100 mile road races at the same time is very difficult to do.

“I’ve got a busy time coming up though. I’ll be working for the team at the Tour of Britain in September. And I’m working at the Olympic road race test event on Sunday.”

Downing’s brother, Russell, will be part of the British team at the test event.

Dinnington’s Ben Swift is 75th in the Eneco Tour after yesterday’s second stage, 40 seconds behind the leader.