British road race champion Russell Downing got third behind Luca Paolini and T-Mobile's Bram Schmitz yesterday, taking the jersey for the best British rider on the stage. He said that he was happy to have the chance to be on the podium. "It is good to be in the jersey today, especially being from quite close to Sheffield. This was the stage I wanted to do well in. Earlier in the week I had a bit of a problem with a knee injury as I had crashed last week. I was in the break but had to drop back. So it was good today to be up the road."
Downing crossed the line just two seconds behind Paolini, but said he didn't think the stage win was possible. "I wasn't confident at the end, not at all. The guys I was with are pretty rapid so I just wanted a good placing. Third was good for me."