Downing back in the frame for Worlds and Team Sky

Russell Downing, Tour Series 2009, round 9, Chester

Russell Downing's victory at the Tour of Ireland at the weekend has put him back in the frame for Great Britain's World Championship team – and could even earn him a place on Team Sky.

The 31-year-old CandiTV rider won the opening stage in fine style before clinching victory with a superb second place in a tough final stage to Cork on Sunday.

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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.