Russell Downing and snake, Tour Down Under 2010

Instead of racing in the heat of Oman, Team Sky's Russell Downing was riding in the rain in South Yorkshire on Monday.

"I'm home because I was first reserve for the cobbled Classics, Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, so when Arvesen broke his collar bone I was put in the team. I could have still raced Oman but Scott (Sunderland-  Sky's senior DS) thought I'd be better getting some rest then build up to them," he told us.

Cycling Weekly met Downing after his first ride on home soil since making his Sky debut, which resulted team's first victory. "That was awesome. After we'd done that David Brailsford told as that no matter what the team went on to do, we were part of British cycling history now, because we were part of Sky's first win," he told us.

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