PINARELLO Racing Team drew first blood in the Girvan Three-Day when Russell Downing sprinted to victory at the end of the 65-mile first stage on Saturday.
Downing was given a superb lead out by veteran team-mate Malcolm Elliott, who peeled off at just the right moment to leave Russell Downing to take the win by two seconds from brother Dean Downing, the Rapha Condor-Recycling team leader who is leading the Premier Calendar series.
Third spot in the sprint went to Scot Evan Oliphant (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles), while Pedal Power?s Gary Hand is wearing the Carrick Gazette King of the Mountains jersey and Peter Williams of Pinarello the Endura Hot Spots Sprints jersey after dominating the three intermediate sprints.
?It?s good to get the win,? said Russell. ?We were all tired before the Bikeline because we had just come back from training in Majorca that week and we were still getting used to the new bikes.
?But today we were really firing. We had to work hard to keep the race together, but once we caught the last of the breaks Malcolm gave me a great lead-out.?
Victory gave Russell Downing a five second bonus which leaves him seven seconds ahead of brother Dean, while Oliphant is 12 seconds off the pace.
Among the big losers of stage one was the Sigma Sport team, who had Rob Sharman as a non-starter. Matt Stephens and Neil Swithenbank failed to finish, while Andrew Bye in 30th and James Williamson in 31st were their only finishers inside the top 50.
The riders now head for a criterium around Girvan town centre tonight, ahead of tomorrow?s 89-mile stage out to Newton Stuart, New Galloway and back to Girvan.
More details later on www.cyclingweekly.com
Girvan Three-Day (Stage one, 65 miles).-
1 Russell Downing (Pinarello RT) 2-34-57
2 Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 2sec
3 Evan Oliphant (Plowman Craven RT)
4 Ian Wilkinson (Science in Sport.com)
5 Dale Appleby (Rapha Condor-Recycling) all same time
6 Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor-Recycling) at 4sec
7 Tom Barras (Plowman Craven RT)
8 Rob Partridge (Rapha Condor-Recycling) same time
9 Tony Gibb (Plowman Craven RT) at 5sec
10 Tom Murray (Pinarello RT) same time
1 Rapha Condor-Recycling 7-44-59
2 Plowman Craven RT at 3sec
3 Pinarello RT at 4sec
Carrick Gazette King of the Mountains.-
1 Gary Hand (Pedal Power.org) 8 pts
2 Simon Richardson (Plowman Craven RT) 5
3 Simon Gaywood (Plowman Craven RT) 4
Endura Tal Sprints.-
1 Peter Williams (Pinarello RT) 7 pts
2 Simon Richardson 4
3 James McCallum (Plowman Craven RT) 4