Russell Downing (CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta) was best British finisher at the end of Tour of Britain stage three in Gretna Green, finishing sixth behind some fast sprinters.
Downing has been close to the front on two stages now and only missed out in Newcastle because of the fighting for position. He is now eighth overall, 25 seconds behind Boasson Hagen but he has not given up hope of adding success in the Tour of Britain to his win at the Tour of Ireland.
“I had good legs and felt strong but I was trapped in the right hand gutter waiting to go,” he told Cycling Weekly after the finish.
“I think Geraint [Thomas] was leading Merlo out and they were battling with [Alexander] Kristoff. As soon the sprint started I whipped round the left and got a few people back but it was a bit late.”
“My legs felt a lot better. I dropped my saddle on my new bike a millimetre before the stage and I could feel the difference and felt back to normal. I’m a lot happier now and optimistic for the rest of the race. I know I’m climbing well enough to be up there in Europe and so I want to have a shot at overall.”
Stage three: Hagen does it again in Gretna
Stage two: Dutchman Reus wins second stage
Stage one: Sutton wins opening stage
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