Feature – Russell Downing Q & A


Q & A with a legend in British cycling, Russell ‘the Fonz’ Downing who is Down Under getting ready to race on Sunday for the first time with JLT Condor

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Feature – Russell Downing Q & A


1. When was the last time you started your season in Australia?
Russell: Last time I started my season here was in 2010 with team Sky in the Tour Down Under with good memories!

2. Does the warmer weather make getting in the hours easier or are you missing the grim wind, rain and cold LoL
Russell: not missing the grim weather on the back at all but yes it does make life a bit easier with the good weather. It takes all of five minutes to put your kit on instead of twenty minutes like back in Blighty.

3. What’s the highlight of the Aussie camp so far?
Russell: No highlight of the camp yet but I can tell you there’s some characters in the team with young Stevie Williams being the king of banter! So sharing a house with these young boys is entertaining at times I tell ya. Bring on the bike racing now!

4. What does a typical day consist of at the Aussie training camp.
Russell: Typical Aussie day is wake up at 7ish or so to try to speak to the missus then I’ll get out of bed as not been sleeping great with the change of time zones. Been an old boy as the lads keep telling me lol!

Breakfast, then normally on the road for 9am with 3/4/5 hour rides. Return to the house for recovery food and normally an afternoon snooze. Some afternoons we have a wander over the road to the brew shop to kill some time and have a flat white. Then evenings have been spent all chipping in around the bbq and preparing dinner, food eaten with a bit of banter then bed.

5. Has there been lots of opening the taps in training in preparation for the racing?
Russell: Training has been going very well with Tim Kennaugh setting the programs. Lots of efforts and structure which have got me and the boys in shape for the season ahead.

6. Have you seen the course for the Cadel Evans Road Race and if so, what’s it like – sprinters race or lumpy?
Russell: Yes, seen the course and have raced and trained on most parts of. It’s more like a semi classic with the finish circuit lumpy so would be small group if there was any sprinting going on.



7. Team has a very strong line up – everyone a winner in there LoL! What do you expect your role to be?
Russell: Yes, the team has a very strong line-up. I wouldn’t say we are all winners but as a unit, we’ll be very strong. I’m sure I’ll be bringing lots of experience to the team with a key role of helping Chris Lawless develop as a sprinter. I’m sure though I’ll be able to race the bike nice and aggressive like I enjoy doing!

8. Sun Tour – what’s your best memories of that race?
Russell: I’ve ridden the Sun Tour a few times now with mixed memories really. The one that stands out is crashing early into the race when a barrier blew over and breaking my hand as well as giving me a massive hematoma on my right leg. Me being me I tried to ride this out for a few days without any joy so retired from the race. But then brother Dean went on to wear the yellow for a day or so. That Sun Tour was working with John Herety so I hope my next Sun Tour with him works out a bit better!

9. Is there a stage in the Sun Tour you have your eye on?
Russell: Not really looked at the stages yet. Still focusing on getting the first race with JLT Condor under way which is the Cadel Evans RR this Sunday.

10. Finally, missing home or ready to spend March out there as well!
Russell: As good as Oz is I, will be ready to go home and sleep in my own bed with my missis and not share a house with 12 guys!

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