Russell Downing’s recent holiday to Venezuela ended in tradegy when he was robbed at gunpoint after his taxi driver was shot dead.

Former national champion Downing was returning from a shopping trip with his girlfriend Helena and two friends when the taxi they were travelling in was stopped by an armed gang.

The gang approached the taxi and shot dead the driver before telling the passengers to hand over their watches and money.

None of the party were hurt, although they were badly shaken. See next week’s Cycling Weekly for more on this story.