News: Dean Downing to ride for NFTO Pro Cycling team


Prolific winner in Britain and abroad, Dean Downing joins his brother Russell on the latest British UCI team, NFTO Pro Cycling

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The big news today is that one of the most prolific winners in British cycle sport on track and road, Dean Downing is to join the new NFTO Pro Cycling Team. Winner of some of the biggest bike races in the country such as the Lincoln Grand Prix, 2 times British Criterium Champion as well as 5 rounds of Sweetspots Tour Series plus the overall, Dean is getting close to the end of his career and 2014 may well be his final season as a professional.


Dean Downing winning a Premier Calendar event in 2013, the Beaumont Trophy.

After working with John Herety at Rapha Condor, Dean has learnt a lot about the different aspects of being in a top flight pro team including an insight into the running of the team and that experience will be invaluable at NFTO.

In 2013, Dean raced for Roger Hammond at Madison Genesis which he has enjoyed a lot but the chance to help run a new team and hook up with his brother as well, was too good an offer to refuse for Dean. Asked how joining NFTO ProCycling came about, Dean said “I have known a few of the NFTO riders for the last few years like Hugh Wilson who won the Jock Wadley and James Lewis and then met John Wood a few months ago and it went from there.”

Dean is well known for fronting TV coverage of cycling events like the Tour of Britain for a few years before he got back in the saddle this year and raced and finished said event. Asked if going into management was ever in the big plan after racing, Dean replied “It was always in my mind just because of the work I did with John Herety who told me I’d make a good manager.”

“He used to let me in on a few ins and outs of how he would run the team like logistics and it made me think about whether I would be good at it. So it has been a natural progression that this has happened.”


The infamous ‘nipple tweaking’ incident as Dean wins a round of the Tour Series wearing the champion’s stripes. Next year, his brother Russell will be wearing them although we don’t expect a similar celebration!

Talking about his role in the team in 2014, Dean says “I’m going to be riding next year and helping out the team boss John Wood with some management things. It was great too that Russell (Downing) wanted to come on board and help out in the same way. It has been really great working with John and getting the opportunity to help with kit design and bike design.”

“It’s exciting to be involved in those processes and helping to bring this new UK based team into reality. It’s also great to be racing alongside my brother for one last season and I’ll see how it goes from there.”

The goals for the team says Dean, are to do the full British programme which he says should be bigger and better next year including the televised crits like the Tour Series which as ever will be a big goal for the team. “It’s a very standard UK based programme” he explains “with maybe a few trips abroad as well.”

“The Tour Series has become such a popular event and a main source of publicity for teams and sponsors and whilst a staple diet of crits is not what some riders would like, it is what it is in the UK and if teams can move on from that to get a start in the Tour of Britain as well, it’s the perfect season for any UK based team.”


Brothers Russell and Dean Downing, racing in the same team for 2014.

“I’m not sure what category the Tour of Britain will be next year but we’ll be aiming to hopefully getting an invite to the Tour of Britain.”

Still winning …
Having watched Dean push hard for victories in so many races this year and see him win the Beaumont Trophy, it is clear he still has what it takes. Motivation though is a key for any rider carrying on racing in their late 30’s and that too is still there he says.

“I’m still enjoying the racing as much as I ever have. I had a frustrating 2012 due to illness but then speaking to Roger Hammond after last year’s Tour of Britain was a really exciting time for me. Roger gave me an opportunity to move on from what I had been doing for six years.” “So I still enjoy racing my bike and doing that with Madison Genesis this year has been really exciting as it was a great atmosphere to be in. It’s been a really great year for me and gave me a lot of pleasure getting back in the limelight of winning races and being on the podium in races.”


One of Dean’s biggest wins, the Lincoln GP.

Having helped build the team, Dean explained how his experience have raced in different teams has helped bring together a group of riders who he feels will gel well together and knowing the riders selected for 2014, Dean adds that he does feel racing with the team will be a lot of fun which is key for any team. There are more names yet to be revealed so stayed tuned to VeloUK on twitter to find out who will be on this new UCI squad. NFTO Pro Cycling team so far: Dean Downing, Russell Downing, Sam Harrison, Matt Rowe, Dale Appleby, James McCallum, Hugh Wilson, James Lewis and Sam Williams.

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