Press Release: Lincoln GP All Go For 2020

A race regarded as a cobbled monument in the British cycling calendar, the Lincoln Grand Prix, will again be in the heart of the historic sector of the host city having found a new sponsor

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Press Release: Lincoln GP All Go For 2020

Lincoln Grand Prix Event Statement – Cycling brand Rapha sponsors historic race

In January we announced that 2019 had possibly been the last edition of the Lincoln Grand Prix due lack of sponsorship funding to enable the race to run. Following incredible support from the cycling community of racers and fans alike, we are pleased to announce that the race will go ahead in 2020, and we are developing a strategy to ensure the sustainability of the event in future years with our new title sponsor, Rapha.

A two-year title sponsorship has been agreed with cycling apparel brand Rapha, with the event being titled the ‘Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix’ and the men’s race and women’s race given equal
weighting within it. Following concerns throughout the cycling industry about the sustainability of historic events such as the Lincoln Grand Prix, Rapha approached us with a view to support the event and also help develop a way of making future editions more secure.

Dan Ellmore, Lincoln Grand Prix race organiser since 2015, says: “The Lincoln Grand Prix team are excited to be working with Rapha for the 2020 and 2021 events and to help develop a more sustainable approach to the race to ensure we can continue adding to the history of the event for many years to come. Having a brand such as Rapha recognise the importance of the event and get behind us to keep it running is a fantastic position to be in and we’re really looking forward to working with them”

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Rapha’s purpose is to make cycling the most popular sport in the world. Two years ago, as part of that goal, we commissioned the Rapha Roadmap, an in-depth exploration of the challenges facing professional road racing in the modern era, and a vision for the future. Compiled with input from a raft of insiders, the Roadmap was intended to guide our company’s involvement with the professional sport and, over the last two years, we have followed up with action. We are investing in the future of the sport through charitable grants from the Rapha Foundation, we are putting the spotlight on new races with our alternative calendar, and we are stepping up our support of the women’s CANYON//SRAM team.

In 2020, we have an even greater opportunity to change the game, act upon the advice in the Roadmap and, ultimately, put our money where our mouth is. The Lincoln Grand Prix men’s race has been running continuously since 1956 – longer than any other race in the UK and the women’s race, despite its shorter tenure, has quickly grown to equal importance within the domestic scene. Held each year in early May, it is the one that every British racer dreams of winning. And yet, the event’s future was in jeopardy this Spring after a key sponsor suddenly pulled out.

The race has always been close to us at Rapha. Our London headquarters are just two hours down the road from Lincoln and it was here, in 2007, that Dean Downing took the first major win for our original race team, Rapha Condor. We simply couldn’t imagine a British race calendar without the Lincoln. For the next two years, Rapha will be the title sponsor of the Lincoln Grand Prix, but our sponsorship is just the start.

Using this race as a case study, we will investigate, in practical terms, just how you secure a sustainable financial future for a bike race. The Lincoln GP is our local race but the lessons we will learn by supporting it are ones we hope will be applicable to any race, anywhere in the world. Working closely with the organisers, we will explore new revenue streams including Lincoln Grand Prix merchandise produced by Rapha Custom, with all profits going towards the race in a bid to make the race self-sustaining and ultimately less reliant on sponsors.

We’ll make mistakes, we’ll make improvements and we’ll document it all so that fans with an interest not just in the sport but also in the financial model behind it can gain an insight. Most importantly of all, we’ll invite you all to be a part of it when the race’s 65th edition takes place on Sunday, 10th of May. We’ll be there with the Rapha Mobile Clubhouse to provide the finest coffee for spectators and fans, to showcase our Rapha Custom range and organise rides and events around the race. Stay tuned for more information soon.

2007 Men’s Race Winner “The Lincoln GP has so much history in the UK, over 60 years of history, so for Rapha to be headlining the event for the next two years is fantastic news. The course has everything that the European Classics have, flatlands where the race is lined out and into the famous Michaelgate cobbled climb which leads through the centre of Lincoln city centre. The crowd is always one of the biggest in the UK.“

2016 & 2017 Women’s Race Winner “I have had some amazing memories racing the Lincoln GP. It is such an iconic race, with amazing crowds as you’re racing up the Michaelgate cobbled climb. It is the biggest British race on the national calendar and I’m so glad the race is going ahead thanks to Rapha!”

2013 & 2015 Men’s Race Winner “For me, the Lincoln GP is the Flanders of the British calendar. It’s the one race that carries the history and prestige that makes every rider on the start line hungry to win.”



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