Another Italian job for Downing

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ROTHERHAM’S Russell Downing says he is enjoying life at his new team after a strong start to the season.

Downing, aged 33, is competing this week in the Coppi e Bartali along the Rimini coast of Italy.

Now riding for the Endura Racing Team after leaving elite British squad Team Sky last autumn, Downing says it has been a good start to the season. He said: “We’re flying as a team and picking up wins in different races.

“I’m in good form; it’s a bit of a change (from Team Sky) and there’s a few things we could do that would make us better but I’m enjoying it.”

The Coppi e Bartali is along similar terrain to part of last year’s Giro d’Italia, which was the first Grand Tour of Downing’s career. He said it brought back good memories: “It is over the same sort of roads, just not quite as steep or as hot!”

Today’s third stage is a 151km ride from Fiorano Modenese to Levizzano.