Crowds treated to exciting finish for cycle race

Cyclists take to the streets in the Claremont Sheffield Grand Prix. Image:

Cyclists take to the streets in the Claremont Sheffield Grand Prix. Image:

Sheffield played host to the “best professional cycle race in the country” after the Claremont Sheffield Grand Prix – a major professional cycling event – returned to the city centre on Wednesday night.

The free event saw the final round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series and also incorporated the Browns British Cycling Women’s National Road Race Series.

Rotherham’s Dean Downing, a professional cyclist with the Madison Genesis team, took the men’s title after a thrilling sprint finish, with Graham Briggs second. Third was British champion (and Dean’s brother), Russell Downing.

Dean Downing commented “I’m a bit stunned that I’ve won…I’ve dreamed of winning the Sheffield Grand Prix since being 14 or 15…to win here in front of my family and friends is a great honour.” Listen to Dean, here:

Kona's Helen Wyman (Image: Andy Jones)

Kona's Helen Wyman (Image: Andy Jones)

In the women’s race, Helen Wyman, Kona won by 17 seconds after breaking free from the peloton in the closing stages. Newly crowned national Circuit Race champion, Hannah Barnes, MG Maxifuel won the bunch sprint for second with Eileen Roe claiming third for her Breast Cancer Care team.

The race took place on a fast 1.4 kilometre city centre circuit, featuring tight corners and a cobbled climb up Norfolk street.

Claremont Hospital Director Andy Davey said, “We were thrilled to lend our support once again as the city played host to world class cycling for the watching public.

“We have treated Dean at Claremont previously when he broke his collar bone and he was back on his cycle within weeks.

“So it was great to see him back at peak fitness and demonstrating that strength of determination and spirit – not to mention for a local lad to take the title at this fantastic event.”

The Claremont Sheffield Grand Prix is run by the organisational team of Sheffrec Cycling Club headed by Marc Etches and Mark Barry and was supported by other local organisations including Sheffield City Council; Harrison Cameras; Browns Bar and Brasserie; Bickerton Skoda and Bikebox.

Event organiser Marc Etches said: “This event is now regarded as the best professional cycle race in the country – and after this week’s event it’s not hard to see why!”

Marc told Sheffield Live, “I was blown away by the support from the people of Sheffield who came to cheer on the competitors – it makes the months of hard work beforehand so worthwhile.”