Downing will fight to the end for team

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Russell Downing isn’t ruling out a bid for glory as the Giro d’Italia enters it’s final stages.

The Rotherham cyclist, who rides for Team Sky, is in his first Grand Tour but has suffered through the mountain stages with a persistent cold.

However, speaking to The Star, he said nothing can be ruled out as Sky look to get a stage victory: “We’ll definitely go down fighting.

“We’re always looking to make a move. This is the toughest tour of them all, so trust me to do it with a cold and cough, too.

“Everyone is tired but we’ll keep going and just get through it.”

Yesterday’s 230km stage from Feltre to Tirano was eventually won by Italian youngster Diego Ulissi. He was awarded the victory after compatriot Giovanni Visconti was relegated to third place for irregular sprinting.

After nearly six hours in the saddle, Downing came in with the bulk of the peloton just over 24 minutes after the 21-year-old Ulissi.

Today’s stage is classified by race organisers as a medium mountain route from Morbegno, along the banks of Lake Como and ending 151km later, after one second category climb, in San Pellegrino Terme.

The Giro finishes on Sunday with a time-trial through the streets of Milan to the Piazza Duomo.