British pro Russell Downing (Canditv – Marshalls Pasta team) won the Tour of Ireland today.
Cycling Weekly guy @lionelbirnie tweeted: “By winning Ireland Russ Downing has made it harder, politically, for BC to leave him out of the Worlds team and for Sky to ignore him.”
he then followed up with: “I can understand the likely reasons for not picking R Downing for the Worlds, but surely he could play a useful role for Team Sky?”
In my rather amateurish attempt at predictions, I wondered if domestic pros such as the Downings, Halfords Bikehut riders such as Rob Hayles, and Rapha Condor guys like British Champion Kristian House and others might make it into Team Sky.
Great to see I’m not the only one to see the merits of some of the domestic pros! Russell Downing wins crits and one-day races a-plenty. He has now got a three-day tour under his belt, and beaten some top Continental and ProTour riders in the process.
@pmshires replied: “apart from the money, I don’t see how Sky would benefit RD. He’d end up like @rog10 at Disco; under-used, & under- appreciated”
I assume pmshires is drawing a comparison with Roger Hammond, who has had numerous wins and high placings in Classics and other tough one-day races.
Downing is highly successful where doing what he is doing. Perhaps it would not suit him to be part of a team working towards the goal of a Tour de France win, when he could be winning races for his sponsors? But at the same time, a part of me wants to see one of the best domestic riders show what he can do in Europe.