Rotherham’s Russ Downing in touch after wild day

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A ‘HORRIBLE’ day, Russell Downing called it.

But the end result of stage three in the Tour of Britain turned out pretty well for the Rotherham cyclist.

Heading into today’s 156 kilometres from Carlisle to Blackpool the 34-year-old Endura Racing rider sits in sixth position overall just 12 seconds behind leaders Mark Cavendish and Leigh Howard and two points shy of the points competition pace-setter Boy Van Poppel.

It comes after a sixth place finish on yesterday’s Jedburgh to Dumfries stage, which was an uncomfortable ride for the peloton.

He told The Star: “It was a horrible day really. It was rainy, windy and super fast.

“Team Sky pulled out their ‘A’ game in the run in - it was very fast.”

Sky stretched the peloton out to set up world champion Mark Cavendish for an easy win, his first of the Tour.

Downing, though, is in excellent form and thinks a stage victory is possible.

“My best bet would be if there a split of about 60 riders,” he said.

“I feel like I can get one. I’ll just keep plugging away every day.”