DOWNING REFUSED ENTRY TO US
FORMER national champion Russell Downing remains stuck in England after he was refused entry to the United States when he tried to re-join his Health Net-Maxxis team-mates two weeks ago.
Downing, who continued to put his form to good use with victory in the John May Memorial road race in Yorkshire on Sunday, was held for seven hours by US customs officials at Philadelphia Airport before being denied access and ordered to fly back to the UK.
“The guys at the team thought it would be ok for me to use a traveller’s visa, which allows you to stay for three months at a time and then return after a short break,” he explained.
“But the customs officials say I need a worker’s visa. I’m not sure whether that’s because I’ve won some races and earned some money, but hopefully it’ll all be sorted out quickly.
“The team want me back by the end of the month because I’ve got some good form at the moment. I’ve managed to get a ride in the Lincoln Grand Prix which is a bonus, but I’m disappointed to have missed several races in America that I had targeted.”