Russell Downing

  • DOB23 Aug 1978
  • Age36
  • Height 17.10m
  • Weight63000kg
  • NationalityEngland
  • Birth Place

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Giro d'Italia

Downing battles on

Yorkshireman vows to make it through to Milan

Last updated: 30th May 2011

Russell Downing is bravely battling on in the Giro d’Italia despite suffering a nasty crash mid-way through the 19th stage.

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Ahead of Saturday's penultimate stage, a 242km trek to the mountain-top finish at Sestriere, Downing tweeted: "Bit sore this morning but I'm gunna try finish this bad boy of @giroditalia. Cheers for all the msg .ouch."

The 32-year-old had been descending off the first-category Mottrone on Friday when a rider’s error immediately in front of him caused him to career over a crash barrier and fall approximately 20 metres into a ravine below.

Unbelievably though, Downing was able to get back on his bike and make it to the finish line in last position, but just inside the time limit.

The Yorkshireman was soon driven to a local hospital to determine the full extent of his injuries, and it was while he was in transit there that he provided a blow-by-blow account of the day's events.

He told us: “I was pretty lucky really. There was a Rabobank rider immediately before me who overshot the corner, and that meant that I was catapulted sideways. I hit the barrier and then went straight over it and down about 20 metres into the woods. My bike went even further than me but fortunately I hit a tree, which stopped me falling even further.

“After dusting myself down I managed to scramble up the slope with some help from the fans and get back on my bike, but the fall had broken my shoe plate, which offset my balance, and I crashed into the barrier again about two corners further down the road.

“That completely broke my bike, so I had to wait for a spare, and then 5km later I had to change my shoe before I could sprint back on to the grupetto and then climb the last 28km to the finish.

“I was happy to finish but we’ll have to see how I shape up for tomorrow now. It’s dependant on what the doctors have to say, but I would really like to start.

“I’m feeling pretty rough and have given my ribs a fair old crack. I’m coughing a bit of blood up, which is never a great sign, but I’ll survive. I’ve worked really hard to get here and it would be a shame if I wasn’t able to make it to the finish line now.”

User comments (28)

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Graham Smith says...

True grit...british bulldog keep going to the end if you can. tougher than the ixworth crits your brother raced 2 weeks ago .

Posted 15:19 28th May 2011

Paul Cubbin says...

great ride so far Russ, keep it going. star of the team for me son. Yorkshire rocks.

Posted 12:12 28th May 2011

Patricia Davies says...

G'arn Russ! You nail this darned Giro!!

Posted 11:52 28th May 2011

Paul Lowthian says...

Hard as yorkshire Granite

Posted 10:59 28th May 2011

Peter Mckeown says...

Bugger, hope you get to finish the tour Russell. Best of luck

Posted 10:50 28th May 2011

Christopher Bracewell says...

Your a legend Russ! So impressed with your ride. To come to Grand Tour riding at this stage in your career as a sprinter and still be riding whilst others have climbed off! What can we all say? You deserve all your success and I think the whole cycling community are behind you, hope you make it today.

Posted 10:50 28th May 2011

Matteo F says...

Dai Russell, tieni duro fino a Milano!! Te lo meriti!!!

Posted 10:26 28th May 2011

David B says...

Amazing recovery to make it to the line within the finish time, Russ. Wishing you health & strength to finish the job today.

Posted 09:25 28th May 2011

Mike Hogan says...

Praying for you Fonzie, YORKSHIRE!!!

Posted 08:19 28th May 2011

Danni Murray says...

Keep plugging away Russ. It's your destiny to win a major tour stage. You deserve it and we are behind you dude.

Posted 01:01 28th May 2011

Matt Haddow says...

Well done kidda, keep in there! U will get to the finish and when u do u should be damm proud of yourself!!!

Posted 23:29 27th May 2011

Soren Stirling says...

Bah! Not fair! Get better soon man, your the star of the team!

Posted 23:15 27th May 2011

Juanita Gray says...

A true Yorkshire man!!!!

Posted 22:35 27th May 2011

Carolyn Cummings says...

Fingers crossed, Russell, you deserve to make it to the end!

Posted 22:20 27th May 2011

Richard W says...

All the best for a speedy recovery. Well done for carrying on. True grit.

Posted 22:10 27th May 2011

Eileen Orrell says...

Russ you are a Hero, Truly mad as a hatter, Hoping that your injuries are not as bad as they sound. You really do put the Football Crew to shame. Get well soon.

Posted 21:40 27th May 2011

John Smith says...

had a text from russell he is determined to finish in milan on sunday, and i don't doubt that he will.

Posted 21:32 27th May 2011

Alan Jones says...

Bad luck mate, Hope all turns out to be ok Russ, and good luck with the next two days if you can carry on.

Posted 21:18 27th May 2011

Simon Allen says...

AVIT Russ, Yorkshire grit, hope you're not too badly bashed up, can't be any worse than me landing on you in a Gazebo at Mildenhall!

Posted 21:08 27th May 2011

Gary Ridgeway says...

Mate,no excuses,no drama,just get to Milano, get back to the Courtyard and the first large glass of Rioja is on me!! Top ride dude, top ride!! The whole world is goin crazy about this mad yorkshire puddin who falls off his bike down a mountain in Italy and carries on regardless; he's from Yorkshire I tell thee!Nowt up we me, put me back on me bike and stand aside I'll ride home to Rotherham If I have to!!

Posted 20:53 27th May 2011

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