2015 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.

 

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.

 

Final result

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 

 

U23

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'.

 

Result

 

1 Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky)

2 Mark Cavendish (Etixx Quick Step)

3 Ian Stannard (Team Sky)

 

U23

 

1 Owain Doull (Team Wiggins)

2 Sam Lowe (Raleigh GAC)

3 Matt Gibson (100%ME)

 

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