2013 Race Report

The race started as usual at the Yarborough Leisure Centre 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 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 peleton 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 times 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 Kristians 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 Premier Calendar riders.
Out on the back of the circuit four men finally got away with Russell and Kristian being joined by Russell Hampton and Marvin 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 place as he was always in amongst the leaders and NODE4 Giordana 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.
The way the race organised and the speed of the riders once again proves why it is perhaps the best once day event in Britain.  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 applaud the riders till the very last one has crossed the finish line.

Report By Larry Hickmott www.velouk.net 

 

Peter Kennaugh (Isle of Man) has won the Lincoln Grand Prix at the first attempt after breaking away from his final challenger, Marcin Bialoblocki (UK Youth) in the closing miles and holding on to win comfortably in the Isle of Man colours.

 

The race was notable by the large numbers in contention until four laps to go when Kennaugh started to assert his authority on the race just before the rain started to tumble on the cobbles. In front of a big crowd and climbing with ease close to the front, the Olympic champion broke clear on his own and after a few miles out front, was joined by Marcin Bialoblocki and New Zealand’s Tom Scully (Raleigh).

 

Dale Appleby makes a the first lap of the Lincoln GP.

These three forged a gap of almost two minutes from six riders and while the three became two as Scully was detached from the break, the six chasers were caught by the still very large group. With Raleigh having lost a rider in the front move, they went on the attack and were forcing it and at the finish that showed with Australian Lachlan Norris finishing third for Raleigh and fellow Australian Richard Lang in 5th place.

Peter Kennaugh: “It is great to be back in the Manx colours. It is the first time I have ridden a Premier Calendar and it was a shock to the system after riding in the pros. It’s every man for himself out there and no-one gives you an inch of room, everyone is knocking into you, taking your handlebars out and moving up when it’s not necessary.”

 

IG Sigma Sport rider Peter Hawkins forcing it after lap but still the peloton remained largely intact with all the movement at the back of the race.

“It’s a good standard though I’ll tell you that .I feel at home on those small climbs, as I am lighter than the rider I was with. I went on the climb after the feed just to test my legs and thought he might be able to come with me but at least I’d be able to see how he is and as he’d attacked me a few times on the flat, I knew he wasn’t confident for the climb. I was also cornering a bit better as well so I thought if I can get a gap, I can open up the gap on the corners before the climb.”

 

Kristian House was looking very strong early on but a gear problem where he climbed Michaelgate in the 11 sprocket seemed to dent that form

Marcin Bialoblocki (UK Youth)i: “I was very strong but I started to cramp and couldn’t do anything and he is a great rider. We worked equally in the break and then I tried to attack him on the final lap but my legs cramped”.

“The race was good for me early on. My teammates, they were working very well today and I was able to chill out for the first laps as they covered the moves. When I went, no-one chased as they covered the attacks. I feel good now and after a few big races I will feel even better!”

 

Lachlan Norris (Raleigh): “That was a good race by all of us today and it was just unlucky we lost Tom out of the break as it would have been a good finish for him. We were always represented and the boys rode well at the front of the race. Not quite the result we were looking for but still great to be on the podium”.

“This race is full on. The climb itself is really hard and you want to make sure you are in the top ten going into it but then over the back, there’s lots of attacking before the descent and there is always something going on. It’s a race you have to be on your toes the whole day. You can’t relax and make sure you don’t miss anything.”

“We’re starting to work better as a team after a few races and I am certainly getting into the swing of thing as far as the racing goes. I am more of climber but I think I’ll still be able to help the team in the crits. I won’t do them all but if there are some courses that suit me I can jump in and help the other guys. We have some good horsepower there.”

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