Talkingshop: Dean Downing on winning & retirement


VeloUK talks to Dean Downing about his win in the Sheffield GP and also about retirement and how he also did that last year after Sheffield….

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“I’m still stunned that I have won but also stunned at the way I won. Winning is awesome but we came flying up the cobbles side by side and looked up and there is a motorbike and lapped riders in the road – what do we do?”


“We all nearly ran into the back of the motorbike on the second to last corner. We passed them on the cobbles and I was lucky enough to get the fast line, and come down the finish line and crossed the finish line first and thought, what happens now?”

“None us knew what was going on or happy with the outcome of how I won and that is one of the reasons I am stunned.”

“It was rock hard and teams were attacking each other and I wanted to attack the race tonight and put myself out there. Graham Briggs put some awesome attacks in, Raleigh were attacking, Rus (brother Russell) put some attacks in, Rapha were attacking. I looked round at one point and there were about 20 riders left and that was with six laps to go.”

“I thought at that point this has been a hard race and I made my way to the front and crossed the line first.”

“I’m not getting any younger so tonight is a special win, not only is it a special win because I don’t win as much as I used to, the talent in the UK is immense now. Winning a bike race, a big one, is good for me but winning in my home town with wife here, mum and dad, Lily; it’s really special”.

Dean is 38 and like a lot of bike riders when they get to that age in their career and with the season getting ever closer to the end, talk turns to retirement, so when I put it to him that with form like that, and the love of the fans, he surely can’t be contemplating retiring despite the expansion of DeanDowning Ltd, he replied, “I love racing, I nearly retired after Sheffield last year though.”

“I had a lot of conversations with my family, my close friends, my teammates, my manager and eventually decided to have another year and found a great team. I also found another great mentor and boss in Roger Hammond and I have learnt a lot off him.”

“When ever I do retire, it will be a difficult decision. Thinking back over the last few years, I remember when Chris Newton retired, it was a massive shock, he’d just got a bronze medal at the Olympics and he just announced his retirement. It was like wow because he was one of the best riders in the world. He retired at the top, he didn’t fizzle out and I don’t want to fizzle out. I am happy I didn’t retire last year because I had a very unlucky strange year. I would like to go out on a good note.”

“I have been progressing onto other things over the last few years and have my own cycling business which is for the purpose of whatever I do in and out of bike racing and so it’s an interesting time for me.”

Asked if he feels as good as he’s ever been, Dean replied “some times no, some times yes. I struggle with fitting things in having a busy lifestyle and that has a knock on effect getting in the hours for training”.

Whatever Dean does, he has been a legend here in Britain and will always remain so… he is also making the rest of who remember him racing when he a lot younger, feel very old… thanks Deano… ;-)


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