In a sunny but very windy Lincolnshire Endura Racing‘s Russell Downing rode a strong race of attrition today to take his fourth Lincoln GP in a sprint ahead of breakaway companion Marcin Bialoblocki (NODE4 Giordana Racing) and over a minute an a quarter ahead of previous winner Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp).

The race started as usual at the Yarborough Leisure Center 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.

Russell Downing
Russell has a thing for the Lincoln GP.

Perhaps encouraged by the early sunshine and the enthusiastic crowds there were attacks straight away as a few brave riders tried to get an early jump on the peloton.

The big teams of Endura Racing, 100% ME, Rapha Condor Sharp and Team Sigma Sport were keen to show they meant business and closed down any attempts to cause an early split.

The strong crosswind caused the peloton 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 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 Michaelgate climb.

This year with the race back up to it’s full distance of 102 miles (with the two lost laps reinstated this time) would call on the strongmen to try and break the spirit of the other challengers for the title.

Kristian House, last year’s 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 year’s winner), Matt Cronshaw, Dean Windsor, Richard Lang, 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 Kristian’s 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 team, 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 Michaelgate 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 came home in third to a thunderous round of applause as he had been involved in every move and rode brilliantly.

The race has once again proved it is perhaps the best one-day event in Britain, and the organisers are keen to pay a special thanks to all those who were involved with putting on this year’s event, and also to the spectators who turn out in their thousands every year to cheer and applaud the riders ’till the very last one has crossed the finish line.

Result - Lincoln GP 2012

Final Result

1 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 03:55:38
2 73 Marcin Bialoblocki NODE4 Giordana Racing 1sec
3 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 01:18
4 52 Simon Richardson Team IG Sigmasport 01:21
5 96 Russell Hampton Team Raleigh – GAC 01:28
6 78 Pete Williams NODE4 Giordana Racing 02:38
7 58 Dan Craven Team IG Sigmasport 02:44
8 7 Dean Windsor Endura Racing 02:47
9 1 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing U23 02:50
10 89 Liam Holohan Team Raleigh – GAC st
11 8 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing st
12 101 Andy Tennant Rapha Condor Sharp st
13 55 Peter Hawkins Team IG Sigmasport 02:59
14 77 Matt Cronshaw NODE4 Giordana Racing 03:03
15 64 Marcel Six Metaltek SCOTT 03:05
16 76 Mike Northey NODE4 Giordana Racing 03:07
17 132 Ben Greenwood Vanillabikes.com st
18 122 Christofer Stevenson Team UK Youth Pro Cycling st
19 15 Thomas Moses 100% ME U23 03:20
20 99 Richard Lang Rapha Condor Sharp 03:25
21 123 David McGowan Team UK Youth Pro Cycling 03:41
22 93 Bernard Sulzberger Team Raleigh – GAC 06:40
23 109 Tom Stewart RST Racing Team U23 08:43
24 95 Tobyn Horton Team Raleigh – GAC st
25 91 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh – GAC st
26 74 David Clarke NODE4 Giordana Racing 08:49
27 154 Colin Parry Willier/Live2Ride st
28 92 Matthew Holmes Team Raleigh – GAC U23 08:51
29 35 Will Bjergfelt Cycle Premier – Kovert 08:56
30 43 Robbie Hassan Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes U23 09:00
31 65 Dale Appleby Metaltek SCOTT 09:03
32 28 Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles/Blue st
33 100 Chris Jennings Rapha Condor Sharp U23 st
34 79 Matt Higgins NODE4 Giordana Racing st
35 108 Matt Sumpton RST Racing Team U23 09:11
36 13 Samuel Harrison 100% ME U23 09:14
37 120 Niklas Gustavsson Team UK Youth Pro Cycling 09:41
38 68 Rhys Lloyd Metaltek SCOTT 09:53
39 62 David Nichols Loughborough Students CC U23 10:18
40 165 Luke Dunbar Performance Cycles CM1 U23 U23 10:22
41 14 Alistair Slater 100% ME U23 st
42 11 Simon Yates 100% ME U23 10:25
43 10 George Atkins 100% ME U23 10:27
44 125 Gruff Lewis Team UK Youth Pro Cycling st
Pos No Name Team U23 TIME
45 71 Matt Gee Metaltek SCOTT U23 st
46 45 Richard Bott Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes st
47 16 Owain Doull 100% ME U23 st
48 112 Rob Sharman Sportscover Altura Racing Team st
49 33 George Moore Cycle Premier – Kovert U23 10:32
50 134 Alistair Rutherford Vanillabikes.com 10:34
51 61 Jamie Burgan Langsett Cycles Racing Team st
52 150 Stuart Reid Wheelbase.co.uk/MGD st
53 5 Erick Rowsell Endura Racing U23 10:37
54 75 Rico Rogers NODE4 Giordana Racing st
55 86 Tom Stockdale Primal Europe U23 st
56 17 Perry Bowater ASFRA Racing Team U23 st
57 12 Joseph Kelly 100% ME U23 10:42
58 26 Matthew Jones Team Corley Cycles/Blue 10:44
59 159 William Fox Zappi’s Pro Cycling 10:47
60 144 Robert Smail Teamwallis-chh.com st
61 48 Jamie Shirlaw Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes U23 10:51
62 42 Andrew Hawdon Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes 11:25
63 44 Andrew Coupe Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes st
64 131 Rhys Howells Twenty3C.co.uk-Orbea 11:33
65 118 J Williams Team UK Youth Pro Cycling 11:39
66 139 Dan Smith Velo 29 OTR Vankru 11:52
67 39 George Harper Felt-Colbornes Racing Team U23 15:24
68 37 Blair Windsor Cycle Premier – Kovert 15:57

Under 23 Award

The three best placed riders under 23 years of age

1 1 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing U23
2 15 Thomas Moses 100% ME U23
3 109 Tom Stewart RST Racing Team U23

The Brian Cossavella Michaelgate Trophy

1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 32
2 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 22
3 52 Simon Richardson Team IG Sigmasport 5
4 73 Marcin Bialoblocki NODE4 Giordana Racing 4
5 1 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing 3
6 58 Dan Craven Team IG Sigmasport 2
7 55 Peter Hawkins Team IG Sigmasport 2
8 53 Tom Murray Team IG Sigmasport 2

Lap Results

LAP 1
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 2
3 56 Steve Lampier Team IG Sigmasport 1

LAP 2
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 1 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing 2
3 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 1

LAP 3
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 53 Tom Murray Team IG Sigmasport 2
3 2 Jon Tiernan-Locke Endura Racing 1

LAP 4
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 55 Peter Hawkins Team IG Sigmasport 2
3 58 Dan Craven Team IG Sigmasport 1

LAP 5
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 2
3 58 Dan Craven Team IG Sigmasport 1

LAP 6
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 52 Simon Richardson Team IG Sigmasport 2
3 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 1

LAP 7
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 2
3 1 Scott Thwaites Endura Racing 1

LAP 8
1 90 Daniel Holloway Team Raleigh – GAC 3
2 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 2
3 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 1

LAP 9
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 2
3 8 Ian Wilkinson Endura Racing 1

LAP 10
1 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 3
2 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 2
3 52 Simon Richardson Team IG Sigmasport 1

LAP 11
1 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 3
2 52 Simon Richardson Team IG Sigmasport 2
3 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 1

LAP 12
1 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 3
2 73 Marcin Bialoblocki NODE4 Giordana Racing 2
3 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 1

LAP 13
1 3 Russell Downing Endura Racing 3
2 73 Marcin Bialoblocki NODE4 Giordana Racing 2
3 97 Kristian House Rapha Condor Sharp 1