Russ eyes Games

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rotherham’s Russ Downing will get a taste of the Olympic spirit tomorrow when he lines up with a number of the world’s leading cyclists at the Games road race test event in London.

The London-Surrey Cycle Classic will start and finish in The Mall in central London, with the 140km course passing through six London boroughs, four Royal Parks and a looped route around Box Hill in Surrey.

Downing, who is on the ‘long list’ for Great Britain Olympic selection, will be riding for the England team. He says he is hoping for a good finish: “It would be a good idea to put in a good ride.

“I’ve ridden the Box Hill part of the course before years ago on the Tour of Britain. The Olympic race will be different to this one - it will be longer - but I’m really looking forward to it.”

n Downing’s Team Sky colleague Ben Swift, from Dinnington, is competing in the Eneco Tour in Holland and Belgium. Swift is currently 137th after yesterday’s individual time trial.