Feature: Lincoln GP May 8

Former Winner Dean Downing: “Lincoln is a classic on its own. It has the cobbled climb and the flat round the back and its like some of the amateur Belgian classics I used to race when based over there …”

2010 and the rider who dominated the Premier Calendar, Chris Newton, won the Lincoln GP and then promptly retired at the end of the season to coach the AcademyU23 riders who he says will be at Lincoln to keep the silverware in the ‘family’. With Luke Rowe going so well after winning a Under 23 World CUp round last week, who is to say he or his teammates won’t repeat Newton’s win.

With just over 2 weeks to go before the Lincoln Cycling Festival final preparations are being made to ensure the ongoing success of the Lincoln Grand Prix and the brand new Lincoln Grand Prix Sportive.

The inaugural Lincoln Grand Prix Sportive on Saturday May 8th currently has an entry of 238 for the 94 mile circuit around Lincolnshire’s countryside which includes some sharp climbs in the Lincolnshire Wolds. Entries for the 55 mile route for the not quite so brave stand at 150 but both events bring the riders to the finish line in Castle Square via the 1 in 6 cobbled Michaelgate climb, a real sting in the tail. We hope they all enjoy this taste of Lincolnshire and are in the crowd at Sunday’s Grand Prix.

All the UK’s top teams are present in the 160 strong start list for Sunday’s 56th Annual Lincoln Grand Prix and the race is back on its usual circuit through Bailgate, now restored to health following its surface make over last year. The 2009 record average speed could be challenged, the 86 miles covered at 27.5 miles per hour, quite a feat considering the 11 climbs of Michaelgate and Long Leys Road. The home teams all  have their best riders here and will be fighting hard for the Premier Calendar points and a share of the £4,230 prize list.

2003 — Mark Lovatt who along with John Tanner dominated the road scene in Britain, adds this great classic to his list of achievements.

The race is missing last year’s winner Chris Newton who has now retired from top class competition to take on a coaching role and with the Sky team not now allowed to take part in national races there could well be a new name on the Roy Hart Trophy this year. The team from Ireland is back in strength with 2010 runner up Phil Lavery specially  released from his foreign team commitments to ride the Grand Prix and taking up the Number 1 position on the programme. We also have Sweden’s Magnus Backstedt, a former Paris – Roubaix winner, leading a strong UK Youth team and the Rapha Condor Sharp team with the Rutland CiCle Classic winner Zak Dempster and 2010 Omnium Track Champion Ed Clancy. Motorpoint’s Marcin Bialoblocki and Jimmy McEvoy will also need watching after being 3rd and 4th at Rutland. Whilst foreign teams are not as numerous as usual a quick look through the entries will find 34 riders from outside of Great Britain.

The race again features the Brian Cossavella Michaelgate Trophy. This was won in  2009 and 2010 by the race winner and provides an added dimension to the race and a tribute to a well known and hard working cycling official and organiser. Michaelgate is by no means an easy climb in the later stages of the race as the lactate starts to build up in the leg muscles but you can be assured of a strong tussle for the points on each lap.

The rapid descent and the right angle bends in the picturesque village of Burton are always a popular vantage point for viewing the race. This year the race coincides with the West Lindsey Open Churches Festival and the Church of St Vincents on the hillside is arranging a flower festival and offering tea, coffee and soft drinks from 10.30 am.  All are welcome to call in to view this beautiful church with its lovely stained glass windows and the coronation chairs from the last 3 coronations which are located in the Monson Gallery or to walk round the churchyard with its many plants and flowers.

Left: A young Mark Cavendish racing the Lincoln in 2004 and right, the winner that year, David O’Loughlin of Ireland.

The major viewing areas are certainly around the Michaelgate climb and through Castle Square in to Bailgate where the race heads out of the City via the Roman Newport Arch. The Castle Square area again has extra events with British Cycling’s WATT bikes providing a means to test physical outputs and compare these to British Cycling’s national squad members. Alongside this there will be Lincolnshire Sports Partnership’s bike 4 life stand, the usual Bits for Bikes area, a clothing stall by Impsport and the popular Smoothies bar. Across the other side of the Square the Lincolnshire Farmers’ Market is back with stands serving up some interesting snacks with Ostrich and Venison Burgers very popular. Audi Lincolnshire, one of our race vehicle suppliers, also have a new car display with staff on hand to talk to those who need four wheels as well as a bike.

In 2010 the organisation introduced events for younger riders with a Michaelgate Hill Climb Challenge. British Cycling have now taken over this idea by organising Go-ride events with an inter-schools competition. Riders from four schools start at the Grand Prix finish line and after a small circuit based on Bailgate, Eastgate, Minster Yard and Exchequergate come back to the finish line. These are short events taking place in between the early laps of the Grand Prix and will provide some exciting racing for young riders and great photos with the Lincoln Cathedral as a magnificent backdrop.

County Conference & Events lead the 2011 sponsorship for the third year with the City of Lincoln Council and the University of Lincoln providing additional sponsorship of the budget needed to organise this major event on the British road race calendar. They are backed up by our other local sponsors who support the event each year and our thanks also go to them for their continued support. Television is back for the eighth time with the event again being recorded for Eurosport.

Once upon a time there was this team called Recycling and they dominated the road scene. Left is Russell Downing winning one of his three victories (2005, 2008, 2009) and right, Kristian House (2006) winning.

Dean Downing

Lincoln is a classic on its own. It has the cobbled climb and the flat round the back and its like some of the amateur Belgian classics I used to race when based over there. Lincoln is local to me as well. It is about those first few laps as it does generally split from the back of the peloton. You get 25 or so riders going hard up the climb one lap and its away and everyone else is struggling to get back.”

“The section over the top is so fast that everyone is chasing the race and it goes on like that lap after lap. If you hit the climb in the first 10 or 15, you generally ride up the climb at good pace, not flat out but those who get caught out by that are then chasing the race. Last year, we saw that with Team Sky. They were ready to rip it up but our boys got in there and we did the ripping up ourselves and Chris came out of it great.”

“We’ll be up for winning that again as a team, it’s a special race that one.”

So is it won by a sprinter or a lone break? “You have to sprint up that climb 11 times so its generally a breakaway. I think only once has it finished with a bunch sprint. It is such a tough race.”

Dean Downing winning in 2007.

For more information on the Lincoln Grand Prix Sportive, go to www.itpevents.co.uk and for the Lincoln Grand Prix go to : www.lincolngrandprix.org.uk


The riders start from the Yarborough Sports Centre at 10 am and leave via the cycle track and Breedon Drive to join the circuit on Burton Road. They then leave the City to Burton Village and descend Burton Hill to Fen Lane and the A57 where they turn left towards Lincoln. At the old Racecourse they turn left in to Long Leys Road to climb to Yarborough Road and a right turn to take them into West Parade. They then cross in to Motherby Lane, turn left in to Hungate to start the tortuous 1 in 6 cobbled climb of Michaelgate. This leads them through to Wordsworth Street and a right turn in to Drury Lane and through Castle Square where the finish will take place after the 11th climb of Michaelgate. The circuit is completed by continuing in to Bailgate and Newport, turning left in to Yarborough Crescent and right in to Burton Road.

11 laps of the circuit to finish in Castle Square at approximately 1.30 pm.

Even a rider of Russell Downings immense talent has to get his breath back after winning this great race.

1  Philip Lavery Team Ireland
2  Martyn Irvine Team Ireland
3  Felix English Team Ireland
4  Sam Bennett Team Ireland
5  Ryan Sherlock Team Ireland
6  Spare Number
7  Adam Armstrong Eurocycles Cycling Team
8  Thomas Martin Eurocycles Cycling Team
9  Conor Murphy Eurocycles Cycling Team
10  Urban Monks Jnr Eurocycles Cycling Team
11  Frazer Duncan Eurocycles Cycling Team
12  Paul Mulligan Eurocycles Cycling Team
13  Tom Moses 100% ME
14  Simon Yates 100% ME
15  Joseph Kelly 100% ME
16  Luke Rowe 100% ME
17  Erick Rowsell 100% ME
18  Mark Christian 100% ME
19  Jonathan Mould 100% ME
20  Samuel Harrison 100% ME
21  James Jones Beeline Bicycles RT
22  Simon Gaywood Team Corley Cycles
23  Matthew Higgins Team Corley Cycles
24  Richard Cartland Team Corley Cycles
25  Ian Knight Team Corley Cycles
26  James Millard Team Corley Cycles
27  Chris McNamara Team Corley Cycles
28  Ashley Cox Team Corley Cycles
29  Richard Lambert Cottingham Coureurs
30  Tom Barras CyclePremier.com-Metaltek
31  Stephen Gallagher CyclePremier.com-Metaltek
32  Robert Smail CyclePremier.com-Metaltek
33  Simon Wilson CyclePremier.com-Metaltek
34  Dale Appleby CyclePremier.com-Metaltek
35  Ross Creber CyclePremier.com-Metaltek
36  Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing
37  Scott Thwaites Endura Racing
38  Alex Blain Endura Racing
39  James Moss Endura Racing
40  Callum Wilkinson Endura Racing
41  Robert Partridge Endura Racing
42  David Clarke Endura Racing
43  Rob Hayles Endura Racing
44  Oliver Beckingsdale Endura MTB Racing
45  Jack Adams Forme Procycliste Sanlamere
46  Dexter Gardias Forme Procycliste Sanlamere
47  Will Fox Forme Procycliste Sanlamere
48  Adam Rayner Forme Procycliste Sanlamere
49  Alex Coutts Giant Kenda Racing Team
50  Nic Hutchings C S Grupetto
51  Douglas Dewey GWR Team
52  Llewellyn Kinch GWR Team
53  Sam Redding GWR Team
54  Richard Bott Herbalife/Wheelbase
55  Andrew Hawdon Herbalife/Wheelbase
56  Andy Coupe Herbalife/Wheelbase
57  Simon Baxter Herbalife/Wheelbase
58  Stuart Reid Herbalife/Wheelbase
59  Alastair Kay Herbalife/Wheelbase
60  Anthony Move CC Luton
61  Martin Ford Mammoth Lifestyle RT
62  Russell Falder Mammoth Lifestyle RT
63  Adam Yates Maxgear Racing Team
64  Chris Coyle Mayo Castlebar Western Edge
65  Ian Bibby Motorpoint
66  Jimmy McEvoy Motorpoint
67  Pete Williams Motorpoint
68  James Sampson Motorpoint
69  Marcin Bialoblocki Motorpoint
70  Will Berjgfelt Motorpoint
71  Tobyn Horton Motorpoint
72  Malcolm Elliott Motorpoint
73  Andrew Magnier Motorpoint
74  Jack Kirk CC Multipole Berre D’Etang
75  Mike Auger Velo Club Norwich
76  David McLean Pasta Montenegro Zheroquadro
77  Daniele Santoni Pasta Montenegro Zheroquadro
78  Wojciech Szlachta Pasta Montenegro Zheroquadro
79  Rowan Dever Pasta Montenegro Zheroquadro
80  Matt Myers Pasta Montenegro Zheroquadro
81  Ray Alexander Pasta Montenegro Zheroquadro
82  Mark Holt Pasta Montenegro Zheroquadro
83  Wayne Coombs Primal Europe
84  Junior Heffernan Primal Europe
85  Ben Simmons Primal Europe
86  Beb Stockdale Team Qoroz
87  Tom Stockdale Team Qoroz
88  Luke Dunbar Team Qoroz
89  Scott Law Team Qoroz
90  Mikey Thelwell Team Qoroz
91  Matt Ullmer Team Qoroz
92  Matt Jones Team Raleigh
93  Philip Mooney Team Raleigh
94  Matt Cronshaw Team Raleigh
95  Richard Handley Team Raleigh
96  James Sparling Team Raleigh
97  Liam Holohan Team Raleigh
98  Gael Le Bellec Team Raleigh
99  Matt Gee Team Raleigh
100  Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp
101  Dean Downing Rapha Condor Sharp
102  Jonathan Tiernan-Locke Rapha Condor Sharp
103  Zak Dempster Rapha Condor Sharp
104  Tom Southam Rapha Condor Sharp
105  Andrew Tennant Rapha Condor Sharp
106  Graham Briggs Rapha Condor Sharp
107  Ed Clancy Rapha Condor Sharp
108  Jamie Scott Renault Rotor Colbert RT
109  Richard Wilkinson Renault Rotor Colbert RT
110  David Palmer Renault Rotor Colbert RT
111  Joshua Cunningham Royal Antwerp Bicycle Club
112  Alistair Rutherford Science in Sport
113  Dan Duguid Sigma Sport – Specialized
114  Simon Richardson Sigma Sport – Specialized
115  Russell Hampton Sigma Sport – Specialized
116  Tom Murray Sigma Sport – Specialized
117  Tom Copeland Sigma Sport – Specialized
118  Kit Gilham Sigma Sport – Specialized
119  Ashley Brown Sportscover Strategic Altura
120  John Tanner Sportscover Strategic Altura
121  Collin Humphrey Sportscover Strategic Altura
122  Kevin Dawson Sportscover Strategic Altura
123  Luke Ryan Team Toachim
124  Marcel Six Twenty3c-Orbea
125  Rafa Rodriguez Segarra Twenty3c-Orbea
126  Rob Sharman Twenty3c-Orbea
127  Kristian Downs Twenty3c-Orbea
128  Andrew Griffiths Twenty3c-Orbea
129  Joe Perrett Twenty3c-Orbea
130  Mike Cuming Twenty3c-Orbea
131  Magnus Backstedt Team UK Youth
132  James Stewart Team UK Youth
133  Niklas Gustavsson Team UK Youth
134  Frederik Johansson Team UK Youth
135  David McGowan Team UK Youth
136  Filip Rudenstam Team UK Youth
137  James Lowsley-Williams Team UK Youth
138  Steven Burke Team UK Youth
139  George Richardson Team Tor 2000
140  Phil Borrett Team Tor 2000
141  Josh Yetman Team Tor 2000
142  Jason Duckworth Team Tor 2000
143  Adam Norris Vanillabikes.com
144  Jack Pullar Vanillabikes.com
145  Harry Grey Vanillabikes.com
146  Daniel Smith Velo29 Cycling Team
147  Rob Carter Velo29 Cycling Team
148  Rob Graham Velo29 Cycling Team
149  Chris Mark Velo29 Cycling Team
150  Jack Rees Velo29 Cycling Team
151  Ciaran O’Sullivan Velo29 Cycling Team
152  Nick Busst Velo29 Cycling Team
153  Michael Dales Velo29 Cycling Team
154  Hugh Wilson Willier Goselfdrive.com
155  Jack Cousins Wills Wheels
156  Henry Furniss WyndyMilla– Maxifuel
157  Alex Higham WyndyMilla– Maxifuel
158  Giancarlo Checchi WyndyMilla– Maxifuel
159  Adam Cotterell WyndyMilla– Maxifuel
160  Gyles Wingate Zanata cycling team Belgium

161  Oliver Davies Dinnington Road Club
162  Tim Allen Cyclesport/Pygott & Crone
163  Jamie Caldwell St Ives Cycling Club
164  Mark Thomson St Ives Cycling Club
165  Carl Dyson Clay Cross Racing Team
166  Chris Snook Banjocycles.com
167  Lee Tunnicliffe Planet X Racing Team
168  Lee Allen RVO
169  Phil Malt Velo Club Lincoln
170  Stephen Henson Ellis Briggs Racing Team
171  Harry Wickham leslie bikes/rightmove windows
172  Duncan Moralee Sportscover Strategic Altura
173  Martin Wheeldon Doncaster Wheelers
174  Rob Orr Forme Procycliste Sanlamere
175  James Hawkins GWR Team
176  William Penn Mammoth Lifestyle RT
177  James Newall Team Corley Cycles
178  Sam Ward Wills Bros Racing
179  Mike Rudling Wightlink Racing Team
180  Gavin Daley Velo Club Lincoln