This years Lincoln Grand Prix looks set to be the finest ever with teams coming from all over the world to compete in the 50th running of this tough classic and one of the best organised races on the UK circuit. The following is as reported on the BC website….
…140 riders are entered for the 50th edition of the Lincoln Grand Prix on the 8th of May. The race is one of the key events for cycle racing in the UK, taking as it does, racing to the centre of one of the countries most historic towns, Lincoln. A good crowd is always assured on the Michaelgate climb up to the finish in the shadow of Lincoln Castle and Cathedral. Few races can rival the Lincoln International for big race atmosphere and being based around the town centre means that anyone coming to view the race is never short of things to do as they wait for the race to come around as it does 13 times during the three to four hours the riders are on the road.
This years race also sees the normal mix of international teams from as far away as Canada and Europe coming to try and prevent one of the many local riders crossing the line first. Last year, an Irish rider, David O’Loughlin, did just that as he won the race in fine style. David O’Loughlin is not entered this year due to team commitments in the US, but there are still a lot of riders capable of taking away the big prize and UCI points for winning this historic race. Favourite is sure to be former Lincoln Winner, Premier Calendar leader and winner of the Archer Grand Prix John Tanner (PlanetX) and his team have two other former winners in Mark Lovatt and Kevin Dawson. That makes them one of the favourites to win again but as well as the internationals coming here to compete, there are also many more home grown favourites equally capable of crossing the line first.
Former British champion, Pinarello’s Julian Winn, currently racing in a French stage race to prepare the big event, will be out to redeem himself after failing in the Archer Grand Prix this year. Winn admits he made some fatal tactical mistakes in the Archer Grand Prix and knows the Lincoln GP is one of the few British classics that has escaped him over the years, the closest he came being 2nd in 2001. Like Tanner who beat him for the top prize in 2001, Julian too is part of a strong team with a former winner, Malcolm Elliot one of the four riding in the Pinarello colours along with former Tour de France rider Adrian Timmis and Mike Jones. Another strong team and one with a former winner in Chris Newton, is Recycling.co.uk. With the track season out of the way and World Titles for three of the riders, Newton, Rob Hayles (two titles) and Paul Manning, these riders have had a lot of racing in Europe to prepare for this race and the team has a host of possible winners in their line-up including the Downing brothers Russell and Dean and Robin Sharman who was such a revelation last year when he was second to O’Loughlin. London based Kiwi Warrick Spence who was 5th last year is absent this year but look out for Matt Stephens who will certainly make the top ten.
For more stories on The Lincoln GP and a full start list go to the BC website