Crash hampers Rotherham’s Russ Downing’s efforts

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A CRASH during the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain didn’t help Russell Downing as he slipped from seventh to 21st in the overall standings.

Downing, aged 34, from Rotherham, who rides for Endura Racing, suffered the fall early in the 146.9 kilometre stage around Stoke-on-Trent but still only finished six minutes 30 seconds behind winner Marc De Maar.

However, his aim before the day of positioning teammate Jonathan Tiernan-Locke worked perfectly as the rising star of British cycling finished ninth, 15 seconds behind De Maar, to move up to sixth overall, 24 seconds behind race leader Leigh Howard.

Today’s stage is 189.8km from Welshpool to Caerphilly.