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Former British cycling champion receives five-figure sum in damages

Former British cycling champion Dean Downing has received a five-figure sum in damages after he was run off the road by a van whilst out training

Dean Downing

26 January 2017

Former British cycling champion Dean ‘Deano’ Downing, 42, has received a five-figure sum in damages after he was run off the road by a van whilst out training in July 2015, which resulted in him sustaining injuries to his left knee.

Dean, who in 2014 retired from racing after a career of victories at home and abroad including the British circuit race championships twice and the Lincoln GP, was riding just outside Blyth, Notts when the incident occurred.

The van driver was never traced but as a British Cycling member Dean was able to proceed with his claim though law firm Leigh Day who applied to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) which compensates victims of uninsured and/or untraceable drivers and which is funded by motor insurers.

Dean was cycling behind his training partner Leigh Holmes when a traffic management van began to overtake them but suddenly cut back in to the left to avoid a bollard in the middle of the road.

Leigh was struck by the van but managed to stay upright. Dean was directly behind, and to the rear of the van, and had to swerve sharply to the left to avoid being hit by it. 

In doing so he lost control of his bike and hit the bollard and then a lamppost.

The van driver didn’t stop and has never been identified. 

Dean was taken to hospital where his injuries were assessed and he was found to have sustained knee ligament damage with a total rupture of the cruciate ligament and a partial rupture of the medial ligament.

Following an MRI scan at St Hughs - HMT Hospital in Grimsby he was looked after at HMT hospitals, supporters of the JLT Condor pro cycling team which Dean had ridden for.

Leigh Day organised rehabilitation through a physiotherapist specialising in the treatment of sporting injuries, and have also secured payment from the MIB for the cost of future treatment.

Dean said: “British Cycling membership is an absolute must in my eyes, I have always had the Gold licence. 

"Even though I don’t race anymore, I still get out on my bike on the open roads. I also work in the cycling industry doing lots of varied roles. Being a member covers me as you never know what’s around the next corner.”

Andrew Bradley head of the cycling team at law firm Leigh Day, who is dealing with Dean’s claim, said: 

“We made every effort to trace the van responsible for Dean’s injuries but were unable to do. Fortunately, the MIB agreed to deal with the claim through the untraced drivers’ scheme.

“We’re just pleased to see Dean back on his bike on both Zwift and in the real world, and hope that he continues to inspire and coach this country's young cycling talent.”

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