Photo Album: Downing’s 4th Lincoln Grand Prix

Russell Downing of Endura Racing has equalled the record number of wins in the British classic, the Lincoln Grand Prix. His fourth win equals that of Paul Curran and as he quipped afterwards, ‘I’ve still got it’ and Fonzy, you sure do!

Last Years Report and Results | 2012 Race Preview

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

The Big Photo Album 

In front of 10,000 people lining the barriers in the heart of Historic Lincoln, Russell Downing (Endura Racing) rode up Michaelgate alone to equal the record of victories with his fourth. He was at the front of the race throughout the event and admitted afterwards he was always in control of it and was getting stronger as the laps passed by.

The podium for the 2012 Lincoln Grand Prix – Marcin Bialoblocki (2nd), Russell Downing, winner for the fourth time, and Kristian House, King of the Castle (KoM) and third. 

Downing attacked with a lap to go and after racing through the finish area alone, he waited for a lone chaser in Marcin Bialoblocki (Node4-Giordana), the perfect partner to hold off the challenge of Kristian House (Rapha Condor sharp), Simon Richardson (IG Sigma Sport) and Russell Hampton (Raleigh GAC).

Downing and Bialoblocki opened up the gap to over a minute before at the bottom of the climb in Lincoln, Downing said goodbye to Bialoblocki and raced up the steep and cobbled slopes, followed a roar of cheering as he did so, to emerge in front Lincoln Castle the winner, a popular one at that.


Photo Report of the Race

In all the years I have been covering the race, I don’t think I have seen them lined out getting out of the sports centre… it was quick and got a lot quicker once the flag dropped.

As they come round for the first time after 1 lap, a big group up front, all over the road as riders made a move to get away. Matt Cronshaw is on the front here.

2011 winner Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing) was away next lap with Kristian House. It never stuck.


Behind Kristian House who led over the top of Michaelgate alone (was obscured by motorbikes so pic missed), Russell Downing chases along with Marcel Six (Metaltek Scott).

Next lap, Dan Craven (IG Sigma Sport) had his Mr Angry face on as he raced up the cobbles with teammate Simon Richardson on his wheel followed by a few others.

These two were never far apart and the riders of the race, Russell Downing in the left-hand gutter, Kristian House up the centre of the cobbles and Scott Thwaites in the other gutter (right).

More known for his crit riding, Daniel Holloway led the race up Michaelgate around the halfway point of the event.

After many laps of splits breaking open and coming back together, finally a solid move stuck as five riders escaped, Simon Richardson, Russell Downing, Marcin Bialoblocki, Kristian House and Russell Hampton.

Two laps to go and Downing is away with Richardson but they were soon brought back before Downing went on his own.

The ‘animal’ as one team manager called him, fights his way to the top of Michaelgate alone only to be caught by Marcin Bialoblocki and the two rode away from the rest.

That will be four then signals Russell Downing as he wins the 2012 Lincoln Grand Prix.


Race Report – press release

The race started as usual at the Yarborough Leisure Center with a full field of one hundred and sixty riders taking the start. There was a short delay as last minute safety and radio checks were carried out then the racing got started proper as the riders hit Burton Road.

Perhaps encouraged by the early sunshine and the enthusiastic crowds there were attacks straight away as a few overly brave riders tried to get an early jump on the peleton. The big teams of Endura Racing, 100% ME, Rapha Condor Sharp and Team IG Sigma Sport amongst others were keen to show they meant business and closed down any attempts to cause an early split.

The strong crosswind caused the peloton to seek safety in numbers in the first few laps of the race with no one ready to put in a concerted effort to break away. After two laps however the race had split into two big groups with about eighty riders taking the race on and the other half perhaps just thinking about the finish and the ten more climbs of the one in six cobbled Michael Gate climb.

This year with the race back up to it’s full distance of one hundred and two miles with the lost two laps reinstated, this years race would call on the strongmen to try and break the spirit of the other challengers for the title. Kristian House, last years winner of the Brian Cossavella King of the Hill trophy was in fine form again and he charged up the climb always in the first few riders over the line and had secured his title for the second year running with several laps still to go, but his mind was also firmly set on taking the big prize and along with many of the race favourites he stuck to the front of the field and left many of the others struggling in his wake.

As the laps counted down, a few small groups kept jumping off the front of the race with Russell Downing a three time previous winner, Kristian House, Simon Richardson, Russell Hampton, Marcin Biaboblocki and the other team leaders making it look easy. It seemed at one point that some of the attacks would succeed but with the 100% ME team not making any of the breakaways they fought valiantly to close the gaps and at halfway they had reeled in the escapees and some forty riders were all still in with a chance.

As the crowds in Castle Square grew and cheered on their favourites, a group of some twenty three riders started the winning move with the early movers joined by a hard working Scott Thwaites, last years winner, Matt Cronshaw, Dean Windsor, Richard Lang and David McGowen and Andy Tennant an Olympic pursuit gold medal hopeful joining forces to take the break out to nearly two minutes.

With four to go Russell and Kristian’s pace was relentless and their efforts were cutting the leading group to ribbons with everyone chasing to hold a wheel and keep up with the on form riders.

Out on the back of the circuit, five riders finally got away with Russell and Kristian being joined by Russell Hampton, Simon Richardson and Marcin Bialoblocki all representing different teams and some wondered if they would work together to stay away from the chasing pack. With a fair bit of racing still to go, this uneasy alliance held and they kept the rest at bay pulling out a minute and twenty seconds on the now thoroughly exhausted chasers.

As they charged up the climb of Michael Gate it still looked like any one of some twenty riders stood a chance but Russell Downing had not come to Lincoln today to be denied his fourth victory and as the bell sounded he found a last few ounces of strength and went for glory. The massive crowd in Castle Square cheered him on to a fantastic and hard fought victory as he crossed the line in style and claimed the honours.

Marcin Biaboblocki just missed out and came in a well deserved second as he was always in amongst the leaders and NODE Giorddana Racing had had a good day out. Kristian House home in third to a thunderous round of applause as he had been in evolved in every move and navigated the cause brilliantly.

They race was once had proced why it is perhaps the best once day event in Britian and as always a special thanks goes out to all involved with putting on this years event and to the spectators who turn out in their thousands to cheer and appluad the riders till the very last one has crossed the finish line.


1 Russell Downing Endura Racing 03:55:38
2 Marcin Bialoblocki NODE4 Giordana Racing 1sec
3 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 01:18
4 Simon Richardson Team IG Sigmasport 01:21
5 Russell Hampton Team Raleigh – GAC 01:28
6 Pete Williams NODE4 Giordana Racing 02:38
7 Dan Craven Team IG Sigmasport 02:44
8 Dean Windsor Endura Racing 02:47
9 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing U23 02:50
10 Liam Holohan Team Raleigh – GAC st
11 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing st
12 Andy Tennant Rapha Condor Sharp st
13 Peter Hawkins Team IG Sigmasport 02:59
14 Matt Cronshaw NODE4 Giordana Racing 03:03
15 Marcel Six Metaltek SCOTT 03:05
16 Mike Northey NODE4 Giordana Racing 03:07
17 Ben Greenwood st
18 Christofer Stevenson Team UK Youth Pro Cycling st
19 Thomas Moses 100% ME U23 03:20
20 Richard Lang Rapha Condor Sharp 03:25
21 David McGowan Team UK Youth Pro Cycling 03:41
22 Bernard Sulzberger Team Raleigh – GAC 06:40
23 Tom Stewart RST Racing Team U23 08:43
24 Tobyn Horton Team Raleigh – GAC st
25 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh – GAC st
26 David Clarke NODE4 Giordana Racing 08:49
27 Colin Parry Willier/Live2Ride st
28 Matthew Holmes Team Raleigh – GAC U23 08:51
29 Will Bjergfelt Cycle Premier – Kovert 08:56
30 Robbie Hassan Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes U23 09:00
31 Dale Appleby Metaltek SCOTT 09:03
32 Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles/Blue st
33 Chris Jennings Rapha Condor Sharp U23 st
34 Matt Higgins NODE4 Giordana Racing st
35 Matt Sumpton RST Racing Team U23 09:11
36 Samuel Harrison 100% ME U23 09:14
37 Niklas Gustavsson Team UK Youth Pro Cycling 09:41
38 Rhys Lloyd Metaltek SCOTT 09:53
39 David Nichols Loughborough Students CC U23 10:18
40 Luke Dunbar Performance Cycles CM1 U23 U23 10:22
41 Alistair Slater 100% ME U23 st
42 Simon Yates 100% ME U23 10:25
43 George Atkins 100% ME U23 10:27
44 Gruff Lewis Team UK Youth Pro Cycling st
Pos Name Team U23 TIME
45 Matt Gee Metaltek SCOTT U23 st
46 Richard Bott Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes st
47 Owain Doull 100% ME U23 st
48 Rob Sharman Sportscover Altura Racing Team st
49 George Moore Cycle Premier – Kovert U23 10:32
50 Alistair Rutherford 10:34
51 Jamie Burgan Langsett Cycles Racing Team st
52 Stuart Reid st
53 Erick Rowsell Endura Racing U23 10:37
54 Rico Rogers NODE4 Giordana Racing st
55 Tom Stockdale Primal Europe U23 st
56 Perry Bowater ASFRA Racing Team U23 st
57 Joseph Kelly 100% ME U23 10:42
58 Matthew Jones Team Corley Cycles/Blue 10:44
59 William Fox Zappi’s Pro Cycling 10:47
60 Robert Smail st
61 Jamie Shirlaw Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes U23 10:51
62 Andrew Hawdon Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes 11:25
63 Andrew Coupe Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes st
64 Rhys Howells 11:33
65 J Williams Team UK Youth Pro Cycling 11:39
66 Dan Smith Velo 29 OTR Vankru 11:52
67 George Harper Felt-Colbornes Racing Team U23 15:24
68 Blair Windsor Cycle Premier – Kovert 15:57

Harry Grey
John Crellin
Michael Berling Cycle Premier – Kovert
Lee Tunicliffe Clay Cross Racing Team
Rob Carter Velo 29 OTR Vankru
Duncan Moralee Sportscover Altura Racing Team
Adam Bright Primal Europe
Todd Hotchkiss Performance Cycles CM1 U23 U23
Blake Cowley Clay Cross Racing Team U23
James Smith Primal Europe
Glyndwr Griffiths Urban Cyclery
Milan Sihelsky Kuota GSG Spinergy
Tony Greenhalgh
Richard Da Silva Stevenage Cycling Club

Sam Ward Team Hope Factory Racing
Michael Berling Cycle Premier – Kovert
Rob Carter Velo 29 OTR Vankru
Lee Tunicliffe Clay Cross Racing Team
Kit Gilham Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes
Carl Dyson Clay Cross Racing Team
Chris Snook
Ashley Cox Spirit Racing Team
Felix English Rapha Condor Sharp
Richard Da Silva Stevenage Cycling Club

Last Years Report and Results | 2012 Race Preview

Tags: , , , , ,