Russell Downing Video interview: another ProTeam contract was deserved
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Russell Downing Video interview: another ProTeam contract was deserved

by Xylon van Eyck at 11:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Video
Speaks about disappointment of leaving Sky, but good opportunities with Endura Racing

Russell DowningRussell Downing told VeloNation today that he feels he did enough to get a contract from a ProTeam, despite not picking up any wins this season. The 33 year old failed to have his contract renewed by Team Sky and after an uncertain future, has now signed with Endura Racing.

Downing spoke about his disappointment with how things worked out and having to move back down to a Continental level, two levels below he’s been riding the past couple of years.

“I’ve had a great two seasons at Sky and didn’t get my contract renewed, which is very disappointing,” he told VeloNation at today’s Twitter ride in South Africa, held in advance of tomorrow’s Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge. “But that’s sport at the end of the day. It’s been a really tough year with transfers, a few teams folding and going down.

“Next year onwards and upwards with Endura. Hopefully with the team we’ll take it up to that next level.”

Coming from the British racing scene, Downing won the 2009 Tour of Ireland and secured his first ProTeam contract with Sky for 2010. He quickly silenced sceptics when he won a stage of the Critérium International and another stage plus the overall of the Tour de Wallonie.

This year, he played the role of worker on the team. Countless times he dropped sprinters off with 200 metres to go and they’d end up winning the stage. Downing also completed his first Grand Tour, pushing through injury during the last days of the Giro d’Italia to finish the race.

He feels that he’s given his all and therefore another ProTeam contract would have been deserved. He’s aiming to prove a point next year by riding strongly with his new team, and knows he should have more personal opportunities.

“Onwards and upwards with Endura…the programme is really good, we will be starting with the Tour of Majorca and the Tour of the Med,” he said. “Riding for Sky, I was taking a supporter’s role, but with Endura I will be in the mix, and hopefully back to winning ways soon.”

Downing speaks about several topics in the video below, including the opportunity of being a team leader again next year.



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