Sky’s Russell Downing raced for his dream, a win, today in the Giro d’Italia’s leg to San Pellegrino Terme near Bergamo. He failed, but it’s his first Grand Tour and he wants to have another go.

“Yeah, definitely,” Downing told Cycling Weekly. “Even here at the Giro, I didn’t just come here to make the numbers, I came here to have a pop at a stage.”

His pop came via a 20-man escape formed in the heart of Bergamo northern Italy. He rode at the front on the cobbled climb into the upper city and jumped clear with local rider Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad).

“It went over the top,” he added. “I was able to go with it.”

The group drilled it towards the Passo di Ganda climb and whittled down to six, including Downing. Downing, though, lost ground to the better climbers on the Ganda. Instead of forcing himself, he rode at his own pace and joined the remnants of the escape group.

Italian Eros Capecchi (Liquigas) won ahead of Pinotti. Downing, arrived into the town famous for its sparkling water in a group of 10 and won the sprint for eighth. Though it’s his first Grand Tour, he’s not surprised by his potential to win a Grand Tour stage – he’s 32 years old and knows his abilities.

“I know how hard I can punish myself when I ride,” he said. “I ride better when I am tired really. I had a bad day yesterday and today, I knew, it could only get better – and it did.

“I was really looking forward to it [today], I wanted to just pick a day.”

Sky will likely leave Downing out of its nine-man Tour de France team. Downing may participate in the Vuelta a España, but believes its more likely he’ll have his second chance for a Grand Tour stage win next year.

“It took me ten years to get here now, and I am not going to quit now,” he continued. “The Vuelta? I don’t know about that, two in on year, that’s kind of crazy, but we’ll see.”



Giro d’Italia 2011: Latest news

Deignan still learning in sixth Grand Tour

Giro changes again as final Milan time trial shortened

What riding the Giro has done for Peter Kennaugh

Millar’s time trial practice run

Nibali gives up hope for Giro d’Italia win

Contador ignores Armstrong doping investigation

Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 24)

Controversial Crostis climb removed from Giro route

Sky leader Lofkvist loses more time at the Giro

Giro contenders struggle with Contador’s dominance

Contador widens Giro advantage but Tour doping case waits

Porte reflects, one year after Giro success

Le Mevel goes on attack for Giro’s pink jersey

Giro fines Contador for missing press conference

Cavendish responds to ‘team car’ accusations at Giro

Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 15)

Giro’s Sicilian cyclists proud to face Mount Etna

Contador surprises at Giro with attack ahead of mountains

Contador minds food at Giro as CAS decision nears

Weening supported by Rabobank and model Kroes

Local lad Appollonio bears fruit in Fiuggi

Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 12 edition)

Blythe finding way in second Grand Tour

Leopard-Trek withdraws from Giro d’Italia

Leopard-Trek uncertain to continue in Giro

Tuesday’s Giro stage in memory of Weylandt

Giro doctor describes actions to save Weylandt

Wouter Weylandt killed in Giro crash

Giro news shorts (May 8)

Cavendish likely to take Giro lead tomorrow

Giro 2011: Who will win?

Giro d’Italia 2011: Stage reports



Stage 18: Capecchi takes Giro stage win as contenders take day off



Stage 17: Ulissi prevails in controversial Giro sprint



Stage 16: Contador lords it over the rest in Giro TT



Stage 15: Nieve wins mountain marathon as Contador continues at the top



Stage 14: Anton conquers Zoncolan in shortened stage



Stage 13: Contador consolidates Giro overall as Rujano takes stage



Stage 12: Cavendish holds off Appollonio to take second victory



Stage 11: Gadret grabs dramatic stage win



Stage 10: Cavendish opens his Giro account



Stage nine: Contador storms Etna to take Giro lead



Stage eight: Gatto springs late attack to take win



Stage seven: Neo-pro De Clercq wins by a whisker



Stage six: Ventoso steals Giro stage six win


Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa



Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line



Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash



Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead



Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro’s opening team time trial

Giro d’Italia 2011: Photo galleries

Stage 17 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Giro d’Italia 2011: Live text coverage



Giro d’Italia stage 16 live text updates



Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 13 live text updates



Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 11 live text updates



Giro d’Italia 2011 stage seven live text updates



Giro d’Italia 2011 stage five live text updates



Follow the 2011 Giro d’Italia live with Cycling Weekly

Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list



Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d’Italia 2011: TV schedule



Giro d’Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

Related links



Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

  • martin

    go on my son

    this is without doubt the best bit of news i’ve heard from this year’s Giro