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Racing News / MG X-Power / Litespeed

Dean & Russ Downing at the Preview of Stage 5
© David O’Nyons / MG XPower / Litespeed team director Phil Leigh has announced his team to take part in the upcoming Tour of Britain. World Champion’s Rob Hayles, Chris Newton and Paul Manning will be joined by National Road Champion Russ Downing, Dean Downing and Rob Sharman.
Both Sharman and Hayles celebrated with wins on Sunday, with Sharman winning the Yorks Leeds RRC Senior Road Race and Hayles taking the Worcester St Johns Road Race, following a hard 4-day training camp in Lancashire for the entire Tour of Britain team.

Sharman is proving he is in excellent form and enters the Havant GP on Sunday, the penultimate round of British Cycling’s Premier Calendar Series, looking to take the overall lead from Planet X’s John Tanner, with the 24-year-old just 3 points behind having won two rounds this season.

Hayles’ win on Sunday proves that the 32-year-old is coming into form at exactly the right time, he also finished an excellent 3rd place behind team captain Russ Downing last Wednesday in the latest round of the National Circuit Race Series at Clitheroe. His season started with a bang earlier this year when the Olympic Medallist took two rainbow jerseys at the World Track Championships in Los Angeles, winning gold in the Team Pursuit with his Recycling teammates Newton and Manning, following that up just a few days later with gold in the Madison.

Double World Champion and Olympic Medallist Chris Newton recently won a round of the National Circuit Race Series at Colne and finished 2nd last Wednesday in the same series before finishing 5th behind Sharman on Sunday. He earned his second rainbow jersey of his career with his Recycling teammates in LA in March and then produced a series of outstanding results on the road, including dominating the FBD Insurance RAS in Ireland with 3 stage wins and the overall victory.

On Sunday Paul Manning finished 3rd behind Hayles and preceded that with 3rd last week in the Stan Robson Trophy Road Race. He was finally rewarded with a gold medal with his Recycling teammates this year having been part of medal winning teams for Great Britain in both the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Games in Athens, together with the 2003 and 2004 World Championships. Paul has been a mainstay for the team in the biggest races this year, helping team captain Russ Downing to three stage victories in the Ruban Granitier Breton and Chris Newton to victory in the FBD Insurance RAS.

National Road Champion Russ Downing finished 3rd behind Sharman on Sunday, following his win on Wednesday, and is having the season of his life. The 26-year-old has taken excellent wins both at home and abroad, including a stage of the Giro del Capo in South Africa, stage wins and the Green Jersey in the Ruban Granitier Breton in France, the Lincoln GP at home and a dream win at the National Road Race Championships at the end of June.

Dean Downing has recently returned from injury, with the former National Circuit Race Champion having sustained a broken collarbone and thumb in the US in June, curtailing some excellent form that had already taken him to 3 wins. Deano confirmed a rapid recovery by enjoying a win in the National Circuit Race Series at Milton Keynes two weeks ago and has followed that up with 5th behind his brother last Wednesday and 6th on Sunday behind Sharman.

Please check the team website for regular updates.


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