Yorkshire’s Downing in top 10 Italian finish

Russell Downing
Russell Downing
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Yorkshire Cycling ace Russell Downing prevented yesterday’s GP Estruchi from being an all-Italian affair as he gatecrashed the top 10.

The Rotherham rider (Cult Energy Pro Cycling) posted a fourth-place finish in the one-day, 193km race on the Tuscany coast.

The race, which is notoriously dominated by Italian cyclists, was won by home rider Manuel Belletti in 4:29:28.

Compatriot Davide Viganò was in second, with fellow Italian Niccolò Bonifazio finishing just above Downing in third.

Downing will be happy with the result which follows on from a seventh-placed finish last week on the final day of the Mallorca challenge.

The 36-year-old will now begin intensive training on the roads at home as he gears up for a busy few months ahead.

Downing will compete in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad later this month.

His attentions will then turn to the Criterium International in March, which he has already won a stage in.

Meanwhile, some of the region’s top riders will come to Yorkshire on Saturday as the Velo29 Winter Series continues with round five at the Croft racing circuit.

Leeds woman Seonaid Thompson (Alba Rosa CC) will be aiming to add to the three consecutive wins she secured in the first three rounds, before missing round four last week.

Australian Rohan Dennis set a world hour record yesterday in Grenchen, Switzerland.

The BMC Racing rider succeeded where his compatriot Jack Bobridge fell short just over a week ago by riding 52.491 kilometres in one hour.

It saw Dennis beat Austrian Matthias Brandle’s mark for the furthest distance ridden in a velodrome in 60 minutes of 51.852km, set last October.