The first Lincoln Grand Prix was held in the summer of 1956 and had attracted a strong entry. After 90 miles of racing Bob Eastwood from Huddersfield RC narrowly outsprinted former Tour of Britain winner Tony Hewson and local star Nev Crane.
The following year produced an even better Field, when Wilson Cycles Independent Ron Coe starting his 3 year domination of the event, beat super sprinter Dave Bedwell at the line. The same two riders where first and second the next year and Coe completed his hat-trick by beating Bill Bradley and Harry Reynolds in 1959. This race was marred by tragedy when local rider Roy Hart who had been in the leading group all day, came off the back, and hit a van when starting the last lap. The Roy Hart memorial trophy is still presented to the Grand Prix winner.
Falcon Cycles John Perks won the next two Grand Prix’s followed by Jim Grieves in 1962. Then along came Albert Hitchin who was winning nearly everything during that period. Albert scored a lone win in 1963 leading a Viking Cycles 1 2 3 beating team mates Bernard Burns and Stan Brittain. Hitchin retained the trophy the following year with England international Derek Harrison second. The 1965 edition was named as an official selection event for the world championships. Yorkshire rider Arthur Durham led an England select 1 2 3 beating Doug Dailey and Roger Claridge.
The 1966 race was a classic. Southern roadman sprinter John Clarey drove a 60 mile, 6 man break just holding off a chasing group inspired by Hugh Porter and Les West. Clarey won by 3 lengths from Brian Rourke and Lincolnshire champion Owen Davis.
In 1967 Des Thompson from New Zealand became the first overseas winner leaving a small break to win alone. 1968 saw Doug Dailey win, catching Les West on the run in to the finish, with another Liverpool rider Graham Owen, who had worked like a Trojan to catch West in 3rd place.
The Lincoln GP had now gained Star Trophy status and the next three years’ winners were all well known all rounders. Clifton CC’s Pete Smith won in 1969, and surprisingly Ticker Mullins won the next year in one of the few big bunch finishes we have ever had, in both these races Beeston RC strongman Ian Hallam was 3rd. Then in 1971 pursuiter Dave Allen of Birkenhead was the winner.
The 1972 event was a straight fight between Britain’s two leading road men, after Phil Bayton's big attack with two miles to go was successfully countered by Phil Edwards there was only going to be one winner. Edwards beating Bayton by 3 lengths at the line. Later that year these two riders finished 4th and 5th in the Olympic Games Road Race in Munich.
In 1973 on a rainy day Dave Vose from Kirby CC beat team mate John Clewarth and Peter Watson of Clifton CC. This year saw the first running of the Peter Buckley Series event, the West Common RR on the same circuit at the same time. Steve Heffernan of the Archer RC won the Grand Prix in 1974 with Ian Hallam 3rd again. The 20th GP produced another bunch sprint Tony Gornall from Clayton Velo leading home a group of 17 riders.
1976 was another tremendous race. Two great riders sprinting it out after a super fast event averaging over 26 mph, later to fill the same two places in the Milk Race. Bill Nixon beating Joe Waugh, over 2 ½ minutes up on Steve Lawrence and Paul Sherwin. By now I had taken over the organiser’s role, and if this was a good race the 1977 edition even surpassed it, an early breakaway group formed containing all the race favourites, and looking like the “who’s who” of British road racing at the time, including Bob Downs , along with Ian Hallam Paul Sherwin, Phil Griffiths, Steve Lawrence, and outsider Dave Cuming of the Kirkby CC. The West Common Junior race, being held at the same time had just received the last lap bell, when 30 seconds later Sherwin going like a train came through the finish area with the remains of the break hanging on for grim death. A rapid re think was needed to give the juniors some space so a 1mile extension was quickly enforced for the seniors and in the confusion Cumming who had just lost contact, re-joined the break and at the finish had enough strength left to beat Lawrence and Hallam, 3rd yet again.
Steve Lawrence riding for VC Olympia Sport and living in Essex has always been a local lad to us, learning his racing with the Lindsey RCC in Grimsby. Steve had finished 3rd and 2nd, so in 1978 it was justice that he should win, but he had to work hard because at the bell, riding for Scotland a certain Robert Miller was 30 seconds clear. Miller faded to 5th at the line after being caught by Lawrence, another Scot Robert Melrose, Bob Downs and Phil Griffiths.
While Geoff Taylor was beating Liverpool Century team mate Dave Grindley and Steve Joughin in 1979 in pouring rain, 90 minutes earlier the junior race had been won by Malcolm Elliot of Rutland CC. Taylor started a Merseyside domination of the Grand Prix being followed by victories by Steve Joughin, Phil Thomas, and Mark Bell. The man to break the monopoly being the junior race winner of 1979 Malcolm Elliot now riding for Manchester Wheelers, sprinting clear of Mike Davies and the great Dave Lloyd.
1980 saw an altered course using the new pedestrianised area of Lincoln’s High Street and the cobbled climb of Michaelgate up to the cathedral. Neil Martin was the first to win on the new course beating Chris Whorton and Pete Sanders from an 8 man break.
1985 produced a very popular winner with the Lincoln public, the controversial and highly talented Darryl Webster. Darryl led team mates Pete Sanders, Pete Longbottom and Jeff Williams for a Manchester Wheelers clean sweep of the first 4 places.
Webster would have loved to have retained his title the next year, in fact he looked more than capable as the race progressed, but one rider he couldn’t shake off was Paul Curran who had shown great early season form that year, peaking a few days before the Grand Prix when winning the Circuit des Mines in France. Curran broke away with 2 laps to go to comfortably win his first “Lincoln”, whilst Webster was beaten into second place by 19 year old Welsh lad Stuart Coles. Surprisingly the same three riders gained podium places in 1987, with Curran continuing his dominating form winning by similar tactics to the previous year, this time though, Webster got the better of Coles for second position. Paul Curran became the first rider to score a hat-trick of Grand Prix wins since Ron Coe in the late 50’s, when he achieved another lone victory the following year ahead of Mark Gornall and Ben Luckwell. This was the first race to finish in Castle Square after pressure of shopping etc forced the race away from the High Street area. This proved to be a blessing in disguise as the uphill finish became more popular right up to the present day. Making his Grand Prix debut in 1988 was a young Yorkshire rider later to make a huge impact on the race John Tanner. John finished a creditable 19th in this event. With Curran absent from the 1989 race Mark Gornall and Luckwell stepped up a notch filling the first two places from a breakaway group which went away after only 15 miles never to be seen again.
Into the 90’s and it was Scotsman Brian Smith who finally broke Manchester Wheelers 5 year domination of the race. Smith beat Pete Longbottom by just 4 seconds at the line, and was just too strong to give Longbottom the ideal 31st birthday present. Pete was a great supporter of the Lincoln Grand Prix and before his untimely accidental death he had completed 14 editions of the event with no less than 10 Top 10 finishes.
Since his last win in 1988, Paul Curran had tried to establish himself riding as a professional, but things didn’t work out right for Paul, so in 1991 he decided to re-instate as an amateur. He had a steady start to the season finishing 5th and 3rd in Star Trophy races before returning to Lincoln. On this day though, Paul hit top form to gain a record 4th win in front of Dave Spencer and ‘89 winner Mark Gornall. Race organiser Ian Emmerson and his wife Sheila were combining their organising duties with VIP duties, as they were Lincoln City Sheriff and Lady that year to the Mayor, Councillor David Jackson who has been a staunch supporter of cycling in the City and has been, and still is, instrumental in the work of gaining Lincoln City Council’s support for the running of the Grand Prix.
1992, and John Tanner had emerged as a real contender for the race, but on the day he couldn’t quite cope with John Charlesworth who was in tremendous form, Charlesworth winning by 30 seconds from Tanner, Mark McKay and a young Mark Lovatt, 4th. The race went “open” the following year when Keith Reynolds riding for the strong Banana team beat Tim Hall and Banana team mate Shane Sutton. Keith had improved on his father Harry’s third place behind Ron Coe 32 years earlier.
Chris Walker had won the West Common junior race in 1982 and was now one of the country’s leading professionals. He dominated the Grand Prix in1994 leading the race over the climb on nearly every lap before leaving John Tanner on the last lap to win by 13 seconds, with a 20 year old Roger Hammond in 3rd place. The 40th edition of the event was won by another in form Sheffield rider Mark Walsham winning from two up and coming youngsters Chris Newton and Roger Hammond again.
Paul Curran was back in 1996, whilst not as dominant as he used to be, he was still an obvious contender especially in the Lincoln Grand Prix. Paul was riding for Optimum Performance that year with a very strong team of Mark Lovatt, Drew Wilson and leading Time Trialist Kevin Dawson. At the bell most of the crowd where tipping Curran, but Dawson stormed away to win from Curran and Joe Bayfield with previous winner Brian Smith, who had just returned from a spell with the Motorola Pro team, in 4th place. John Tanner finally gained his just reward in 1997 scoring a great win over fellow Yorkshiremen Chris Walker and Simeon Hempsall. That same morning the National 10 mile Time Trial Championship had been held in Lincolnshire and Johnny Clay had ridden and left early to start the GP. Being well warmed up, John was in the break all day and with 4 laps remaining received the news that he had won the 10 championship. That message took away Clay’s momentum, but he still finished the race in 4th position, an incredible day’s racing. Sadly 1997 was the final time the long established West Common Road Race was to be run in conjunction with the GP. Tighter Police traffic control had forced us to abandon this successful formula.
The very strong Team Brite had controlled and dominated all the early Premier Calendar events in 1998 standing at eight consecutive wins before the “Lincoln”, the bad weather and the greasy cobbles of Michaelgate Hill was to mark the end of that victory run. Harrod’s Joe Bayfield had looked the strongest, winning 12 of the 13 Castle Square Primes before team mate Chris Lillywhite and Team Brite’s Chris Newton took over, these two having broken away on the last lap. Newton looked a winner when he attacked with under a kilometre to go, only to slip and fall on the Michaelgate cobbles, Lillywhite took his chance and went past to win by 7 seconds with Welshman Matt Beckett, Bayfield and Julian Winn filling the next three places. Previous winners Brian Smith and John Tanner completed the break, and pursuit star Brian Steel leading in the rest of the finishers.
The 44th Lincoln Grand Prix graduated to International status in 1999, foreign teams included Sport-groep Koksijde squad from Belgium, Oktos-MBK from France as well as strong Scotland and Ireland national teams. Unusually, a group of 12 riders were still in contention at the foot of the final climb of Michaelgate with Banesto’s Jeremy Hunt and National Champion Matt Stephens looking good, Gethin Butler was there, as was Chris Newton and John Tanner. In a hectic last lap massed start hill climb, Hunt had to replace a derailed chain, the Lithuanian rider Saulius Ruskis proved to be the strongest , finishing just 3 seconds in front of Tanner and Irishman Ciaran Power.
Chris Newton became the first GP winner of the new millennium in spite of an increased overseas contingent. Chris riding for Middridge CRT beat John Tanner in the only sprint finish we have seen in Castle Square These two had left breakaway companion Paul Manning on the last lap, with a star studded group of Mark Lovatt, Julian Winn, Dave Rand and leading continental New Zealander Scott Guiton riding for the Flanders-Prefatex Team, over 3 minutes behind.
Since riding his first “Lincoln” in 1988, John Tanner, apart from his win in 1997, had finished 2nd on no fewer than 4 occasions. In the 2001 edition of the race John proved he had lost none of his enthusiasm for the event in spite of the disappointment at the collapse of the Linda McCartney Pro team which Tanner and Matthew Stephens had signed for. The race was decided from a 17 man break which went away after 30 miles, most of the favourites were there, including Tanner, Julian Winn, Stephens, Kevin Dawson, Hugh Pritchard from Wales and Ireland’s Morgan Fox, as well as the complete British pursuit squad, who later the same year were to finish a close 2nd in the World Championship, of Chris Newton, Bradley Wiggins, Paul Manning, Brian Steel and Steve Cummings. The breakaway group broke up eventually due to the strength of Tanner and Winn, who went on to finish in that order, just ahead of Matt Stephens who had made a great last lap effort to catch the two leaders.
With Manchester hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2002 we had riders from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Isle of Man, Canada and Australia competing against the pick of the English road men hoping to catch their respective selectors’ eye with a good performance in the Grand Prix. John Tanner was the leader of a very strong Compensation Group Racing Team with past winner Kevin Dawson and prolific winner Mark Lovatt. In form Welshman Hugh Pritchard was in all of the early moves along with members of the Team Down Under from Australia, but no definite breakaway was established until two laps to go when Pritchard forged ahead with new La Francaise des Jeux professional Bradley Wiggins. At the bell they where 15 seconds up on a small group of three Team Down Under riders and Dawson and Lovatt from the Compensation Group RT. Whilst most people tipped Wiggins for the win Hugh Pritchard stormed up Michaelgate the last time to win the race by 7 seconds from Wiggins with a fast finishing Paul Redanbach from Australia claiming 3rd place in front of Dawson and Lovatt, followed by Aussies Brookes and Roland with Andrew Roche from the Isle of Man completing the leading group. John Tanner led in the bunch for 11th place.
Major interest in the 2003 Lincoln Grand Prix was the return to top class competition of 1983 winner Malcolm Elliott, but with 8 National and International teams entered as well as the pick of the UK’s leading teams it seemed like a tall order for Elliott now in his 40’s. Even so he made it into the winning breakaway which formed after 80 miles of racing together with other former winners Tanner, and Newton. Also there were New Zealand professional rider Gordon McCauley and John Tanner’s team mate Mark Lovatt. At the finish it was Lovatt who finally gained his first victory in Lincoln beating McCauley by 7 seconds with Elliott clinching a superb 3rd place in front of Tanner and Chris Newton. Best of the continental riders was Tino Haakman from Holland in 6th position.
Irish Road Race Champion David O’Loughlin was looking for Olympic selection for the Athens Games as were Canadians Lange and Perras in this 2004 49th edition of the race. The pace as usual was fast and furious but a breakaway group never really got established although O’Loughlin was in all the right moves. A surprise winner looked likely when American rider Eddy Hilger had a lone lead with just two laps to go, however he was caught by O’Loughlin and English rider Robin Sharman of the Recycling team. Sharman had just returned from a successful racing trip to Greece and was looking very strong, but O’Loughlin powered up Michaelgate Hill on the last lap to score Ireland’s first GP win. Sharman held on for 2nd just 5 seconds clear of another storming finish by Malcolm Elliott in 3rd place yet again. Canadian Cory Lange was 4th while Hilger of the USA slipped back to 10th place of the 60 finishers.
A late entry for the celebratory 50th Lincoln Grand Prix came from Discovery Channel Pro rider Roger Hammond. Roger had finished 3rd on two previous occasions but this time he was recovering from a serious crash sustained in the continental spring classics.
The race winning break went on the first lap instigated by Andy Collis and Duncan Urquart, and they were joined by another 13 riders. With 4 laps to go Dean and Russell Downing of the Re Cycling team forged ahead with Welsh rider Yanto Barker, they stayed together until the bell lap when the Downing brothers dropped Barker, who eventually finished 8th.
Russ Downing was the strongest at the finish beating Dean by 6 seconds, while Malcolm Elliott left the remains of the original breakaway group at the foot of Michaelgate hill to finish 3rd ahead of Robin Sharman. Top foreign rider was Canadian Andrew Randell in 17th position while Roger Hammond rode a steady recovery race to finish 32nd in the main bunch.
In contrast to the previous year the 2006 race was in doubt until the final 2 miles.
On one of the wettest Lincoln Grand Prixs, breaks were made and brought back and one of the biggest bunches stayed intact probably due to the weather or the police request to reduce the race distance to 86 miles. The race burst into life with 2 laps to go when 2000 race winner Chris Newton produced a powerful attack taking 5 riders clear of the bunch. On the penultimate lap Newton again attacked and at the bell looked a likely winner as he came over the hill in a lone lead. Rob Hayles, however, was towing a chasing group of 11 riders who caught Newton on the outskirts of the city, immediately Ireland’s Paul Healion and former New Zealand rider Matt Talbot escaped taking Chris Newton's Re-Cycling team mate Kristian House with them. House who was beginning to dominate the Premier Calender was the strongest on the final climb to win by 7 seconds from Healion and Talbot, all three riding in Lincoln for the first time.
First overseas rider was Peter McDonald from Australia in 4th place just in front of a courageous Chris Newton and Rob Hayles. 50 riders finished within 2 minutes of Kristian House which is unusual for the Lincoln GP. The race was televised by Cycling.tv for British Eurosport for the second year.
On to 2007 and the weather forecast for May 13th was spot on - Rain starting late morning and getting progressively worse. The huge field of 150 starters faced a wet 86 miles and after 3 laps the race was split into two big groups and two laps later a further split when 17 riders went clear, notable riders to miss this move included Elliott, Tanner Lovett and Dawson. After a series of attacks mainly by Chris Newton and Wayne Randle, who was to win the combativity prize, seven riders formed the leading group with three laps to go. 2005 winner Russell Downing and continental based professional Jonathan Dayus moved away from this group and looked to be a race winning move, however as soon as the duo where caught, Russell's brother Dean counter attacked with New Zealander Gordon McCauley. At the bell they had 30 seconds advantage and as both had previously finished second in the race McCauley in 2003 and Downing in 2005, the incentive was there. The race came down to a sprint finish with Downing winning by just over a length. Russell Downing finished strongly for 3rd place in front of Newton, Dayus and Australian Peter McDonald. In all we had 83 finishers including a group of 28 who finished two laps early because of traffic restrictions. A good achievement in atrocious conditions.
In direct contrast to the previous year the 2008 edition was run off in sweltering heat, and after constant attacking early on in the race it was not long before a group of 14 riders escaped including the last 3 winners of the Grand Prix, brother Russell and Dean Downing and Kristian House. Eventually the group split leaving just the Downing brothers and Simon Richardson in the front. Dean was soft pedalling at times as his team mate Chris Newton, still recovering from a broken collar bone, was chasing hard, but the trio stayed in front until the foot of Michaelgate for the last time where Russell Downing’s attack was too strong for the other two and he won from brother Dean, with Richardson a further 10 seconds back. Chris Newton finished 4th and won the most meritorious performance award. A brand new trophy in memory of Lincoln Grand Prix official Brian Cossavella also went to Russ Downing for gathering most points over the Michaelgate climb each lap
Out of the 200 entries received for the 2009 event 170 took to the start, and with a new major sponsor the race was re-titled the Abstraction Lincoln Grand Prix. The race followed a familiar pattern with strong riders attacking early to reduce the numbers in the front. A leading group eventually became established including Grand Prix favourites Malc Elliott, Kristian House, Chris Newton again and inevitably the Downing brothers. Also in the break was former British mountain bike champion Ian Wilkinson now riding on the road for the Halfords team and fresh from winning the East Mids International Cycle Classic 2 weeks earlier. Wilkinson was very strong and when he attacked at the start of the final lap only Newton and Russell Downing could go with him. Chris Newton faltered on the last ascent of Michaelgate and Downing with tremendous support from the largest crowd ever out sprinted Wilkinson to retain the trophy. Dean Downing was 4th, Malcolm Elliott 5th, 6th and leading under 23 rider was Marl McNally just beating top foreign rider Arno Van der Swert from Holland. Russ Downing also retained the Brian Cossavella Michaelgate trophy, and after a highly successful season he has signed a major contract with the Sky Professional team, so best wishes to Russell as he competes in some of the worlds top bike races.
And now on to 2010 and the challenges to the race organisation caused by the Bailgate Restoration works meant a detour around Eastgate and Church Lane each lap but with more planned to be happening in the finish area. The main talking topic before the 55th Grand Prix was the first showing in the UK of the Sky Professional Racing Team including last years winner Russ Downing together with Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift. Indeed it was Russell Downing who led the field to score the first points in the Michaelgate Trophy, but he missed the first main breakaway which formed on the second lap. In this group and looking very strong was Rapha's Chris Newton who always performs well in Lincoln winning the race 10 years ago in 2000. A strong chasing group including the 3 Sky riders where closing in on the leaders and a 16 strong bunch formed at the head of the race with just 4 laps to go. On the penultimate lap a strong attack by Newton on the climb strung the group out, with only 19 year old Phil Lavery riding for Team Ireland able to stay with him. These two worked well together until the final climb where Chris Newton was too strong and went on to win by 7 seconds from the Race revelation Lavery. Simon Richardson attacked the chasers on the last lap to repeat his 3rd place of 2008. Swedish rider Alex Wetterhall was 4th and Cyclo Cross Champion Ian Bibby 5th . Russ Downing was best of the Sky Riders in 6th place with both Thomas and Swift experiencing Mechanical trouble. Newton also won the Brian Cossavella Michaelgate Award from Wetterhall and Dean Downing.
And now on to 2011 and the challenges to the race organisation caused by the Bailgate Restoration works which meant a detour are now complete and the race returns to its usual passage through Bailgate and Newport Arch on each lap after the finish area. The 56th edition of the Grand Prix unearthed a new crop of talented riders,with last years winner Chris Newton now retired and popular GP riders John Tanner and Malcolm Elliott nearing the end of their racing life. Rapha-Condor-Sharp however still had previous winners Dean Downing and Kristian House as contenders and indeed it was House who initiated the first breakaway of the day together with Tom Murray,James Stewart and Scott Thwaites from the Endura Racing team. Kristian House continued to lead on Michaelgate to secure enough points to make sure of the Brian Cossavella Michaelgate Trophy. The break survived until half distance when a sizeable bunch bridged the gap. Attacks from Downing and Rob Partridge reduced the leaders further until with less than two laps to go a surprising number of 25 riders where still in with a chance of victory. At the bell Motorpoint riders Johnny McEvoy and Ian Bibby attacked with Rapha's Australian rider Zack Dempster and it was Bibby who continued the move establishing a good lead with just 5 miles to go He was eventually caught and looked to have paid for his efforts hanging on as team mate McEvoy and Luke Rowe made strong attacks. At the foot of Michaelgate Bibby recovered and looked a likely winner as he led up the climb until the last corner where a fast finishing Scott Thwaites overtook him to record the biggest win of his career McEvoy was 3rd just holding off Rowe, Dempster and Liam Holohan, all in the same time as the winner.
With the University of Lincoln being the main sponsor of the 2012 Grand Prix, a full field of 160 riders set off on the race now restored to the original distance of 13 laps totaling 102 miles. Last years unexpected and surprise winner Scott Thwaites has progressed into one of the countries top road riders and could be a favourite to win again. Kristian House led over Michaelgate and took maximum points for all the first seven laps through Castle Square easily retaining the Brian Cossavella Michaelgate Trophy he won last year. The big bunch mainly stayed together for the first half of the race, until a strong group of 20 riders formed into the lead. A big attack by Russell Downing on lap 10 forced a split when Russell was joined by House, Russell Hampton, British based Polish rider Marcin Bialoblocki, and Simon Richardson who always seems to do well at Lincoln. At the bell Downing was clear alone only to be joined by Bialoblocki and these two stayed together until the last climb of Michaelgate where Downing proved too strong and crossed the line in front of a massive crowd for his 4th Lincoln Grand Prix victory, 15 seconds up on Bialoblocki and over one minute clear of House, Richardson and Hampton. Scott Thwaites finished 9th and won the award for the best under 23 rider. Downing's time was the second fastest on this course, only 26 seconds slower than his own record set in 2005.
The 2013 race started in dry but but cold and cloudy conditions. Reigning king of Michaelgate holder Kristian House forced the early pace, picking up maximum points on the first five ascents of Michaelgate, meanwhile as early as lap three the race had split into two distinct pelotons. Pre-race favourite Peter Kennaugh, a Team Sky rider, only eligible for the event by competing for the Isle of Man National team started to show on lap four crossing the prime in 4th place. The second big bunch was dropping further back and eventually had to be black flagged eliminating them from the race. Just as Peter Kennaugh started to take control, early aggressor Kristian House experienced Gear trouble and was unable to score anymore prime points. Kennaugh led over Michaelgate on all the remaining laps so clinched the Michaelgate trophy from Kristian House. Kennaugh was joined in the front by last years runner-up Marcin Bialoblocki and New Zealand visitor Tom Scully. These three stayed together until two laps to go when Scully was dropped. At the bell, just as the rain started to fall, the two leaders had a two minute lead over a Team Raleigh led group of 40 riders. Kennaugh attacked Bialoblocki on the last climb and finished 15 seconds ahead on the line. Two minutes later Team Raleighs Australian duo Lachlan Norris and Richard Lang led in Channel Islander Tobyn Horton, Liam Holohan and Frenchman Eric Barthou. Peter Kennaugh's time of 3 hrs 51 minutes 14 seconds was a new course record beating Russell Downings 2005 winning time by four minutes
A new format was introduced in 2014 and used as a rehearsal for the British Cycling National Championship Road Races which will incorporate the 60th Grand Prix in 2015. Two laps of a 25 mile circuit were tackled before the traditional circuit was reached. Heavy rain coincided with the start of the race and by the time the race had completed the ‘country circuit’ a group of 16 riders had a narrow lead over the large peloton. This group eventually depleted to 6 leaders including the runner up from the past two years Marcin Bialoblocki and recent Cycle Classic winner Tom Moses, and it was Moses who launched an attack with two laps to go, he was riding that strong that at the bell, he looked a likely winner. The chase was led by Welshman Yanto Barker, New Zealand rider Mike Northey and Poland’s Bialoblocki and they caught a tiring Moses on the last climb of Michaelgate. At the finish it was Team Raleigh’s Yanto Barker who led the other two over the line. Tom Moses held on to finish 4th winning the under 23 award and the Michaelgate climbing trophy. Nathan Edmondson was the last survivor of the break and Adam Blythe led in the rest of the 41 finishers in 6th place
The 2015 race was the 60th in Lincoln and was celebrated by being the British National Championship and the first organiser Mike Jones has officiated in one capacity or another in every single one. Present Chief Judge Pete Griffin has also either rode or officiated every event, whilst Ian Emmerson and Mike Griffin have only missed two or three races. Two fantastic races ensued as a fitting 50th Edtion of the Grand Prix with Lizzie Armistead taking the Womens Title after attacking on Michalegate on the approached to the bell using the big chain ring to power away from the opposition. With the Mens race taken by Peter Kennaugh after a last lap drag race up the cobbles against Mark Cavendish with each rider taking to opposite gutters on the climb. The increased race distance meant the riders were completing the multiple laps of the usual circuit after completing countryside opening loops which has split the mens field as attacks came think and fast from the off. 2015 was also the final edition rganised by Ian Emmerson OBE who had been at the helm for 50 of the 60 editions.
2016 saw the frist edtion Organised by Dan Ellmore and Peter Odam, with Dan bringing the competion side experience havig worked as part of Ian Emmersons team in various roles for 20 years and Peter Odam bringing the Safety and Stewarding knowledge having worked on the event for a number of years in that role. Following the successul running of the Womens National Championships alongside the Mens Championships it was decided to introduce a Womens Grand Prix in the morning with the Mens race moved to a lunchtime start. UCI Womens team Drops took a clean sweep of the Womens podium along with the newly introduced cobbl stone trophy that riders can keep as a memento. Alice Barnes took the win from Rebecca Durrell and Laura Massey 3rd. The Men's race almost saw a new record with Russell Downing coming within half a second of taking a 5th win to put him one ahead of Paul Curran, however in a 2 min sprint to the line he was passed by a last gasp lunge by friend and training patner Tom Stewart.
2017's 2nd Womens Lincoln Grand Prix and 62nd Mens Grand Prix saw a 2nd win for Alice Barnes from Drops in the Womens race after lone leader and dominant Michaelgate award winner Rebecca Durrell was caught almost within site of the line leacing Alice Barnes to power up the cobbles to take the win. The Men's race saw Ian Bibby (3rd in 2016) step up to take the top spot with last years winner Tom Steward sliping down to 15th and Russell Downing a non-starter due to a broken collar bone after hoping to once again challenge for a 5th win. An early break dominated the race eventually being pulled back by some great team work from the bunch with just under 2 laps to go. On the climb of MIchaelgate to take the bell a strong lead group formed and it was Ian Bibby who sprinted clear on the climb to take his first Lincoln Grand Prix and cobble stone trophy.
The 2018 editions were again close fought battles, with an early 5 rider break going clear in the Womens Grand Prix, this was joined late on by 9 more riders setting up an exciting finish with Rebecca Durrell powering clear on the final ascent of the cobbles to take a narrow victory with Anna Henderson just behing in second and Nicola Juniper taking 3rd. In the Mens race the early move of 5 riders was joined by 26 more which lead to riders hesitating when Alex Richardson (who was riding as unattached having recently left the One Pro team) attacked. He took a fine solo win after 2 laps on his own with Andy Tennant taking 2nd and Ali Slater 3rd in the sprint from the chasing group.