Woking saw one of the stars of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series racing in the unique, team based Series for the final time.

Here we look back over the Pearl Izumi Tour Series career of Dean Downing in this photo special.

Above – “One of my funniest moments was winning my first ever Tour Series, in my National Champs jersey.  I looked behind and knew I was going to win and had the idea of pinging my National Champs stripes.  And it ended up looking like I was tweaking my nipples and I’ve had five years of stick about that!  The photo keeps coming up in certain things, so that was the funniest one.”

“My favourite Tour Series memory was 2009 in Woking, when I had back-to-back individual wins and I did the last four laps on my own in the British Champions jersey and won the race individually, so what was one of my favourite moments.” – see below.

Above – Winning in Peterborough in 2010.

“The Tour Series as a whole is unique.  Doing city centre races in big city centre races around the country is what I went to watch when I was younger when the Kellogg’s was around, so to have everyone coming to the races supporting me and the teams I’ve been in has been pretty special.

“Canary Wharf is awesome.  It’s one of the biggest cities in the world and you’re racing around the financial district, that’s pretty cool.

“This one here is an awesome circuit, tight corners but dead fast.  The first years doing back-to-back wins in Exeter in 2009 and 2010 was pretty cool.” – pictured below in 2010

Above – Dean’s final win in the Series came at Colchester in 2011.
Below – Winning the Series with Rapha Condor Sharp at Canary Wharf in the same year.

Above – Making history with his 2012 Rapha Condor Sharp teammates by winning the Series’ first Team Time Trial.

Above – Going close in Torquay last year, but beaten by former teammate Ed Clancy.

Above – A final podium appearance as a member of NFTO Pro Cycling at the opening round in Stoke-on-Trent.

“I really enjoyed tonight.  By my own standards I’ve had a pretty average Tour Series  this year, normally I get lots of top positions but the standard’s gone up and the racing’s got harder.  I just wanted to get stuck in, a lot of friends were saying ‘Go out with a bang’ and I was getting a lot of texts.  I got stuck in from the beginning, I was up near the front, I got in the breakaways and got a third or something in the bunch kick, so I really enjoyed tonight.

“I got a lot of shouts around the course, I’m a Rotherham boy so I’m 200 miles away from home so to have everyone around the circuit shouting my name tonight was pretty good.

“Tonight I was chatting to some of the lads on the start line just about it being my last Tour Series and I was saying there’s a lot of people to thank.  You guys who organise it, but then also the riders in general, not that there’s any favourite rider, just the riders across all the teams have a good camaraderie and a lot of respect for each other.  We’ve been doing this for six years, travelling the length and breadth of the country, so it’s good to have friends across all teams.

“It’s a broad spectrum of riders over all the years, the ones who let me win races a few years ago to the ones who have hurt my legs tonight!”

Above – With brother Russell, a teammate just once, at Dean’s final race in Woking.
Below – Receiving a bouquet from SweetSpot Race Director Mick Bennett, and a kiss, ahead of his final appearance in the Series.

Don’t forget, if you’ve been a spectator at any of the 2014 Pearl Izumi Tour Series rounds, you can go into a prize draw to WIN by completing this spectator survey.