Talkingshop with Tom Stewart, Tom Bustard, Matt Cronshaw and Dean Downing


After the Maureen Baines Memorial RR, VeloUK spoke to some of the riders, the top three and the ever experienced Dean Downing

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Race report, Results and Photos

Tom Stewart (Sportscover/Bioracer): The winner of the Maureen Baines memorial explained how it had been a late move to the Sportscover Bioracer team while he waited to see if the RST Clothing/Trigon Bikes team would have a senior squad.


So he raced the event on his Trigon training bike and all his work in the winter with the Downing brothers paid off. He crossed to the break with two others, went with the next attack and then outsprinted Matt Cronshaw which is no mean feat.

“I haven’t raced since Severn Bridge and it feels really good to get off on the right foot. The break went on the first lap and I was gutted I missed it. I know though round here it’s difficult and they are long races and you can bring back five minutes on the last lap if you need to.”

“I had two teammates in the break so that was good for us and let me keep my powder dry and wait for a counter move. My climbing has got better over the winter for sure. I felt great on the Ryals. Matt (Cronshaw), Tommy (Bustard) and me got away on the second bump of the Ryals. We got away on the first bit but opened the gap on the second bit.”


“At the end, with three of you away and you’re all on the limit working together, it is everyman for himself and there was no messing about until the end. Fairplay to Tommy because he did a big pull on the front at the end there.”

“Tom led it out and was nailed and I think happy to take third. I have been in a situation like that before, not a lot, a few times and have messed them up. I don’t have a lot of experience of them but I knew I had to be on his (Cronshaws) wheel because he is a good sprinter but I knew I he’d be tired so I didn’t give up and sure enough just nicked it. Couldn’t believe it.”

Looking ahead, Tom says first and foremost he wants to finish his degree and when that is done he says “I’ll do what I can on the bike. I have had a good winter and in this team with a lot of strong young lads, I am sure we’ll be pushing above our weight this season.”

Matt Cronshaw (IG Sigma Sport) “I originally thought Tom was one of the Sportscover riders who had been part of the original break and I was quite surprised as we’d dropped him but it wasn’t the same rider. He was pretty strong when he attacked up the Ryals and gave me a hard time.”

“Maybe I gave him too much leeway! Definitely gutted to be second. I was up for these races as I have missed a few weekends. Last weekend the races were cancelled due to the weather and I’d got ill after the Roy Thame and Jock Wadley and missed the weekend after that too so I haven’t raced for a while.”


Above: Matt Cronshaw riding for IG Sigma Sport

“I have been training well though and in a race like this which is just grippy, you don’t need the racing top end so much in your legs. The break went after five or six k and Maggy (Magnus Backstedt) was there for maxfuel and everyone was working well and then he punctured and after that it was difficult.”

“James Moss and I feel we did too much work but if we didn’t, the break would have come to nothing. It was hard work being out there from so early on on such grippy roads. We could have done a few races separately but with the Tour of the North being cancelled, it was important to get races with as many of your teammates as you can before the big races.”

“Races like this give you the chance to iron out problems and help you to remember how to win races which you can forget like over estimating how yours legs feel!”

Matt said he’s known Tom Bustard for a few years. “he’s big and strong and you can’t give him an inch. When he attacked at the bottom of the Ryals, I knew that could be it so I didn’t give him any space.”

Tom Bustard (Herbalife Leisure Lakes 3rd) “I was feeling pretty bad leading into the sprint and thought I was going to get third as I knew Matt (Cronshaw) was really quick and Tom was a good lad. I gave it a good go but Matt & Tom went straight ahead of me.”


“I am surprised I got over the Ryals four times” Tom explained. “I am really happy with the result. I won last week and haven’t been out of the top 10 so far so I am looking forward to this season and look at turning pro at the end of the summer.”

Tom, who wasn’t wearing any gloves, (they breed them tough in the North West), said it was a tough course. Talking us through the finale, Tom explained “there were about ten of us at the bottom of the Ryals, and Steve (Lampier) went and he got caught and then I attacked and Matt and Tom came with me.”

Dean Downing (Madison Genesis) “I didn’t go to Taiwan and had the opportunity to go to Majorca for a week with my best friend John (Smith) who runs our Out of the Saddle cycling club so there was 19 of the guys there. I did ten days there and rode with Steve Lampier and Malc (Elliott) as well for a few days. I stepped up the training and it paid off.”


“This was my first proper road race. I’d done the Soens that was crashfest. I enjoyed the day today and had enough kit on to keep me warm. It was an undulating start towards the circuit and a decent break got away and I’d missed it. I did an attack to get across and that didn’t happen and then another guy came flying out of the bunch and I sat on him and then attacked and rode across to the break on my own.”

“That was using my experience there. The break was flying straight away and sadly Magnus Backstedt had a puncture which wasn’t good for the break because he’s a powerful rider but also that meant his team didn’t have anyone in the break (they also lost Davie Lines from the break with a puncture).”

“The Ryals is hard in the summer so when its zero degrees it’s even harder. Matt Cronshaw was riding well as was Stevie Lamps (Lampier). I was just hanging on the back up there and then with a lap to go, I had a flat and got a wheel off Malc Elliott and chased back and got on. That was hard and that deadened the legs.”

“Coming into the last lap, I looked around, and there were some guys coming. I saw Will (MG Maxifuel) and a rider from Sportscover and I didn’t know who it was until he passed me at the bottom of the Ryals and went across to Tom Bustard and Matt Cronshaw. It was Tom Stewart, a good friend of mine and Rus’s and rides during the winter with us all the time.”

“Tom has got the quality to be a great cyclist and would make a good pro as he climbs so well.”

On having two good quality races in the lead up to the season which doesn’t really kick off until April 21st (CiCLE Classic). “I have enjoyed getting stuck in here today with the usual suspects with all the big teams at the front knocking ten bells out of each other.”

“It’s a good two day block of racing and not having raced yet on the road, I really wanted to do these two days. If you haven’t raced, you don’t get your race head in gear and that was what it was for me today. I looked up the road after five k and there is a break away. You have to train your race head and so it was good to do that here.”
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