The Lincoln Grand Prix is the blue riband event of this year’s Premier Calendar and with a list of winners that reads like a who’s who of British domestic racers, it’s the one every team and every rider will want to win.
This year the 58th edition of the race is back to its 102 mile full distance, made up of 13 laps of an eight mile course around the historic Lincoln city centre, thanks to the all-clear to keep the roads closed to traffic.
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Each lap includes an ascent of the fearsome and Flanders-esque Michaelgate climb. Rising up to one in six at its steepest and coming as it does just before the finish, the narrow and cobbled medieval streets always decide the race winner.
It is becoming difficult to look past Endura for the win…again. In Scott Thwaites they have a rider who is not only on form after a win at the Tour of the Reservoir last Sunday, but who won Lincoln last year.
They can also boast the rest of last year’s podium in Ian Bibby and Jonny McEvoy, as well as two-time winner Russ Downing, current UCI Europe Tour leader Jon Tiernan-Locke and multiple top ten finisher Ian Wilkinson.
The onus once again will be on the remaining teams to take the fight to Endura. Their best bet is to work together to isolate and out-number Endura’s riders, but it won’t be easy.
Lincoln Grand prix 2012: Where and when
Date: Sunday May 13
HQ and race start: 10am, Yarborough Sports Centre, Lincoln
Race finish: Approx. 2pm, Market Square, Lincoln
Lincoln Grand Prix 2012: Ones to watch
Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing)
The 22 year-old with two wins in the UK under his belt already this year will want to make it two in a row at Lincoln.
Pete Williams (Node4-Giordana)
Unable to bag a podium spot last weekend but he was active in two breaks and has good legs heading to Lincoln.
Graham Briggs (Raleigh-GAC)
Fourth at the Reservoir before picking up a win at the Ixworth crits the next day, Briggs looks to be riding into form.
Wouter Sybrandy (IG-Sigma Sport)
The strong man of the IG-Sigma team will hope to bulldoze his way over the Michaelgate cobbles.
Lincoln Grand Prix 2012: CW rating
The streets of Lincoln are always packed out for the GP, and with a sportive being run on the course just a day before there will be a cycling buzz around the town all weekend.
A top field and a course length longer than recent years means there will be no let up.
There are no big climbs but the cobbles of Michaelgate are to be ridden a leg-breaking 13 times.
Arguably one of the most prestigious races on the domestic scene, a win at Lincoln can be the highlight of a rider’s career.
Lincoln Grand Prix 2012: Last year’s top ten
1. Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing)
2. Ian Bibby (Motorpoint )
3. Johnny McEvoy (Motorpoint )
4. Luke Rowe (100% ME )
5. Liam Holohan (Team Raleigh)
6. Zak Dempster (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)
7. Rob Partridge (Endura Racing )
8. Martyn Irvine (Team Ireland)
9. Yanto Barker (Pendragon-Le Col-Colnago)
10. Marcel Six (Twenty3c-Orbea)
Bibby (2nd), Thwaites (1st) and McEvoy (3rd) on the Lincoln podium in 2011
Lincoln Grand Prix 2012: Previous winners
2011 Scott Thwaites (Endura Racing)
2010 Chris Newton (Rapha Condor Sharp)
2009 Russell Downing (Candi TV Racing Team)
2008 Russell Downing (Pinarello Racing Team)
2007 Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Racing Team)
2006 Kristian House (recycling.co.uk)
2005 Russell Downing (recycling.co.uk)
2004 David O’Loughlin (Total Cycling)
2003 Mark Lovatt (Life Repair CRT)
2002 Huw Pritchard (Angliasport)
2001 John Tanner (Ribble – Pro Vision)
Lincoln Grand Prix 2012: Related links
Premier Calendar 2012: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
Endura build commanding Super Team Challenge 2012 lead