Russell Downing (Team Sky) has won the Tour de Wallonie in Belgium after clinching the final stage and unseating Frenchman Laurent Mangel (Saur-Sojasun) from the overall lead.
Downing was in fifth spot overall going into Wednesday's final stage of the five-day race, but the bonus seconds allocated to him for winning the final bunch sprint gave him the overall honours.
Prior to Wednesday's win, Downing had consistently placed in the top ten of every stage - 10th on the opening stage, fourth on stage two, ninth on stage three and 10th on stage four.
Yesterday, Downing told Cycling Weekly "I was really pleased with how I went [after stage four] because I've not raced since the nationals and have backed off my training a bit before building for the end of the season."
Only Downing and two of his Sky team-mates completed the race.
It's Downing's second major win for Sky this season, having won stage two of the Criterium International in March.
The Yorkshireman was signed to the Sky squad after winning the Tour of Ireland in 2009. He was one of the last riders to be added to the roster and is only signed on a one-year deal. A situation that must now be under negotiation.
The UCI 2.HC classified Tour de Wallonie ran from Saturday, July 24, to Wednesday, July 28. Previous winners include Paolo Bettini (2002), Axel Merckx (2000), Julian Dean (2003) and Sergei Ivanov (2008).
Tour de Wallonie 2010, stage five: Chaudfontaine to Lontzen, 164.7km
1. Russell Downing (GB) Team Sky
2. Stefan van Dijk (Ned) Verandas Willems
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis
4. Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step
5. Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Ag2r-La Mondiale all same time
Final overall classification
1. Russell Downing (GB) Team Sky
2. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil at 2sec
3. Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 3sec
4. Julien Simon (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 7sec
5. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha at 9sec
Russell Downing wins stage five
Team Sky's 2010 wins so far
Chris Sutton, Tour Down Under stage 6
Team time trial, Tour of Qatar
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tour of Oman stage 3
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tour of Oman stage 6
Juan Antonio Flecha, Het Nieuwsblad
Greg Henderson, Paris-Nice stage 1
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tirreno-Adriatico stage 7
Russell Downing, Criterium International stage 2
Bradley Wiggins, Giro d'Italia stage 1
Ben Swift, Tour of Picardie stage 2
Ben Swift, Tour of Picardie overall
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Criterium du Dauphine stage 7
Greg Henderson, Ster Elektrotoer stage 3
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Norway TT champs
Geraint Thomas, British RR champs
Chris Sutton, Brixia Tour stage 3
Russell Downing, Tour de Wallonie stage 5
Russell Downing, Tour de Wallonie overall
Downing challenges on Ardennes classic stage of Wallonie
Downing wins stage two at Criterium International
Team Sky's 2010 race programme (with results)
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Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.
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