Rotherham’s Russ Downing returns to the big time

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ROTHERHAM’S Russell Downing has been named in the new NetApp-Endura team for next season.

The 34-year-old is one of four British riders named to the German-based outfit who will compete on the Professional Continental circuit.

It is reward for an excellent year by Downing for Endura Racing. He was a key part of their team during this month’s Tour of Britain, which saw colleague Jonathan Tiernan-Locke become the first home grown rider to win the national race.

The merger between Endura and NetApp will see the squad invited to top class races across Europe and may even lead to Downing making a return to a Grand Tour.

He competed in the Giro d’Italia in 2011.