Russell Downing best of British

Team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed leader Russell Downing confirmed his good pre-race form with a strong finish in Stage 1. Downing will go into tomorrow's stage 2 as the best placed British rider on the general classification, having placed sixth in the opening sprint at Castle Douglas.

Downing was supported by team-mates Dean Downing, Kane Oakley and Cameron Jennings who remained near the front of the bunch as the speed quickened with around 40 kilometres to go.

Downing, spotting the Unibet team forming the lead-out train on the right of the road for Baden Cooke, jumped to the left into clear space with one kilometre to go. He showing a good turn of speed and sprinted head to head with Quickstep's Pozzato, winner of Milan-San Remo this year, coming over the line third in the bunch sprint.

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