2015 Race Report
Women's Road Race
What a glorious finish to a brilliant Road Race Championships we have had in Lincoln today.
The sun has shined on us all weekend and it certainly helped to bring the crowds out in their droves. The spectators were treated to a real spectacle as well as the Women's Road Race got under way at 10am. Many thought that Lizzie Armitstead might not start the race after her crash last week but she did and made her presence know at the front of the peleton. Dame Sarah Storey was again on top form and set the early pace. With gaps starting to open up as the winds blew across the course and a light drizzle fell from the skies, only the very elite were left in with a chance. Claire Thomas and Amy Roberts make a break for it as the conditions briefly got worse out on the starting loop. Thomas and Roberts got their lead up to over a minute before the chasers started to get organised. First across was Jo Rowsell with six more chasing including Armitstead followed by a flurry of riders desperate to get into the action.
The lead group grew to ten riders and the selection would come from them. As they get close to the final climb of Michaelgate, Armitstead turned on the class and grabbed a lead of over one minute and took the title in fine style. She was a very popular winner and had been well supported all around the circuit. The fight for silver and bronze came down to who had a bit left in their legs. Katie Archibald who had been in the thick of it all day had to settle for sixth but it gave her the Bronze in the U23's. Laura Trott had perhaps expended a bit too much energy bridging the earlier gap and had to settle for the bronze but a great rider from Alice Barnes bagged her the Silver. A notable effort also from Molly Weaver who came a fine fourth after her superb effort in Thursdays Time Trial. It also got her the Silver in the U23 category.
1 Elizabeth Armitstead - Boels Dolmans Cycling Team 02:51:14
2 Alice Barnes - Team Betch NL Superior-Brentjens U23 @1:52
3 Laura Trott - Matrix Fitness
1 Alice Barnes - Team Betch NL Superior-Brentjens
2 Molly Weaver - Matrix Fitness
3 Katie Archibald - Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int'l
Men's Road Race
The men's race got under way as the woman had hit the finishing circuit and it looked like it was going to be one way traffic from the start. Mark Cavendish made the start and the very knowledgeable crowds showed their appreciation as he stayed near the front of the bunch. Team Sky looked like they were never in doubt of putting their man on top of the podium, if just depended on who that would be. With a group of some thirty riders breaking away from the main field, the day was over for a lot of the remaining riders. They were soon over half a lap down and there is no way back from that.
The best of the best led the way for most of the race with an elite group of six riders away for most of the race, Sky had defending champion Peter Kennaugh in the group along with Rowe and Stannard. Cavendish was there as well as Scott Thwaites and Adam Blyth. They soon distanced themselves from the rest of the field and as they came up the climb of Michaelgate once more Kennaugh and Stannard showed the rest of them how to treat the cobbles and they flew up the 1 in six climb. It looked like that was it and it would come down to one of the front two to take the Gold. The chasing four had Luke Rowe as a passenger as the Team Sky man didn't want to help bring the gap down to his two team mates. No one looked like they had the legs until an inspired ride by Mark Cavendish to bridge a gap of some 40 seconds brought him and Luke Rowe across. Coming back into Lincoln for the last time, each rider tried to shake the others off but no one could get an advantage. Peter Kennaugh had shown before he can take advantage of the climb into the finish but Cavendish was not to be dropped so easily. Kennaugh kicked again and took the title, successfully defending it and proving what a top athlete he is. A fantastic effort from Mark Cavendish, who reminded us all he is a very good all round bike rider saw him take second place. Ian Stannard was rewarded with a well respected bronze medal just pipping Luke at the finish.
We all had a really great weekend here in Lincoln and of course Cadwell Park. These Championships have been warmly welcomed and again the crowds have come out to cheer on their favourites. The Lincoln GP was the catalyst for the race being held here and it was perhaps then no surprise that a former winner took the title.
We'd like to thank all of the people who came out to make it a very special event and of course our sponsors who had stepped up to the plate and allowed us to hold a spectacular Championships. As always our heartfelt thanks go to all of the volunteers who work tirelessly in the background and do so such a sterling job. This race was for you, you guys make it happened and 'kept the wheels turning'.
1 Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky)
2 Mark Cavendish (Etixx Quick Step)
3 Ian Stannard (Team Sky)
1 Owain Doull (Team Wiggins)
2 Sam Lowe (Raleigh GAC)
3 Matt Gibson (100%ME)