45th GP Lincoln - 1.5

Great Britain, May 7, 2000

1999 Results    Results    Past Winners

Premier win number 3 for Chris Newton

The podium
Photo: © Larry Hickmott

This was my first time to Lincoln and what a day to come to this historic place. Not only was the weather kind with a bright sun and warm temperatures making it a beautiful day to come here, but the centre of the city with its cobbled 1 in 6 climb, historic castle and cathedral all on the race route, was alive with thousands of people helping to make this race a great event.

The glory for the day though belongs to Chris Newton, who in previous years has finished second in this race twice, but this year he made no mistake in outsprinting the man of the race, John Tanner, who was on the attack from the word go.

Everything about the day's race was first class starting with the biggest field of the year with 134 riders on the start sheet including a late replacement for the missing French teams, the division II Belgium team of Flanders/Prefetex including Kiwi Scott Guyton.

It wasn't only the large field and even larger gallery of spectators that gave this UCI event a continental flavour. The 1 in 6 cobbled climb could have been from any of the Belgium classics with its barriers all the way up keeping the large crowd back, switchbacks and very steep gradient. Thank god it was dry. But it wasn't only the climb through the centre of Lincoln's streets with names as historic as the place itself, Wordsworth and Drury Lane are but two. The course also had another climb which after a few laps started to take its toll, a section of coned off dual carriageway where the cross winds played havoc with the large field travelling at 30mph. Then there were the narrow lanes which made moving up the peloton in readiness for the climb impossible.

The course also made its way through the streets of Lincoln and the surrounding built up area which meant it was a massive marshalling job to have people on every junction as well as middle of the road bollards and so on. There may have been 134 riders but I guess there were a lot more marshalls and police on the day making sure the race went ahead in saftey.

This was a race where you not only had to be strong to take in the climb 13 times but also make your own luck. One who did was John Tanner who the first time through the town was well clear with a chase group in hot pursuit and somone suffering luck of a different kind was Dutchman Michael Aldeschulte from Energiewacht-NWVG who was seen coming back to the peloton from what looked like being a puncture.

First time through the centre of Lincoln after the climb and John Tanner is already on the move with the peloton splitting in the chase to bring him back to the fold. Some riders never saw John again as this vicious course took its toll from lap 1 onwards.

It didn't take long before his aggression started the selection process as Irish rider David O'Loughlin joined him with Chris Newton and Aarron McCaffrey notable amongst the chasers. This was a short lived effort as everybody soon came together again before a new selection was made as they came through the city. John Tanner was again the driving force along with Mark Lovatt, Chris Newton, Paul Manning, Julian Ramsbottom (Peter Read Racing), Bradley Wiggins, Danny Axford (Real Cost Car Imports) and Rod Ellingworth (Team MCell).

As an aside, one of the stories I heard at the race was that Bradley Wiggins has been offered a contract for ONCE next year although as the story teller said, ONCE is no doubt just one of many who are after Wiggins signature. Also of interest was the story about Rod Ellingworth, a revelation this year in Premier events, who is a sole sponsored rider and one of his sponsors is a local council that has Rod going around schools to teach kids a few tips about riding a bike properly.

Back to the race, prominent in the chase beind was Scott Guyton and James Griffiths (Linda Mcartney) shortly followed by Richard Smith, Chris King, Huw Pritchard, Pelle Kill (Holland), Julian WInn, David McCann (Ireland) and Tom Southam.

The lead group from hereon took a stranglehold on the race as the players in the chase behind continued to change but the break's lead kept on climbing. Towards the end of the race in the last four laps, pressure from Tanner split the break until there were only three left: Tanner, Newton and Manning. Following over a minute down were another three remnants from the break, Ellingworth, Lovatt and Axford with Wiggins now well and truly dropped and falling backwards to the chasers.

These riders were soon caught by a chase group which contained 3 from the Belgium Flanders team who towards the end of the race were starting to play a more notable role. Also prominent in the chasers were Julian Winn, Huw Pritchard, Dave Rand, Dean Downing, Neil Swithenbank , Gethin Butler, James Taylor, Dutchman Pelle Kill (one of the pre-race favourites) and Jamie Alberts.

Of the chasers though, it was Julian Winn who had realised his mistake in not making the group. With a few laps to go, he attacked the second group to try and create a working chase group to try and bring the leaders back. For their part, the lead group had split, and were perhaps more vulnerable than it had been all race. With a lead of only a minute and half, the chances of the race coming back together was still possible but this was as close as the chasers got.

With three laps to go, the main peloton, now more than four minutes down, was given the bell while riders further behind the peloton were black flagged and asked to stop on police advice due to the time the rolling road closures had to be kept open for as the gaps between the lead and the riders behind, widened.

The only real change in the race over the final few laps was the number of riders able to stay with the chase group as the distance and the climb took its toll. Julian Ramsbottom for example, once so strong at the head of the race was now finding the climb very difficult. Meanwhile, Julian Winn, marked by John Tanner's teammate, Mark Lovatt, chased the leaders a number of minutes down.
Tanner leads Newton
Photo: © Larry Hickmott

So with one lap to go, race commentator Roger Hobby not only kept the crowd entertained but also kept us informed of what was going on at the front of the race thanks to a radio link. When an attack was made, such as that by Paul Manning on the second climb of the circuit, news of it was announced to the thousands of us lining the barriers. We also learned about John Tanner being the rider who brought back Manning while Newton followed Tanner. Even when Tanner threw his bottle away approaching the climb, we knew about it with the information helping us all visualise what was going on as the leaders approached.

Into the final kilometre up the cobbled hill to the finish, and you could hear the riders coming as the shouting and applause rang out like a noisy Mexican Wave of sound. Over the speakers, you could hear over the race radio which was then relayed to us by commentator Roger Hobby the action as it happened, Newton and Tanner battling it side by side as they attacked the vicious slopes for the last time.

The news that Tanner was heading Newton as the climb edged upwards reached us, and with the noise reaching a crescendo as the lead car came into view, the riders suddenly rounded the last bend. Then it was the sight of Chris Newton attacking Tanner who wowed the crowd by making up for his mistake a few years ago when he lost the race after he attacked and fell on the cobbles within sight of the finish. Newton finished a length clear of John Tanner with Paul Manning, the rider in form after the Circuit de Mines, ending up in third place. The latter had made a number of attacks earlier to get clear and sort it out before the climb - but they took their toll.

Newton's win took him to the top of the Premier Calendar table, well clear of Jon Clay, the winner of the previous two events.

Report and pix courtesy of Larry Hickmott at www.echelon-velo.co.uk


1 Chris Newton (GBr) Middridge CRT            4.00.55 (40.84 km/h)
2 John Tanner (GBr) Pro-Vision 
3 Paul Manning (GBr) Alsager MRT                 0.23
4 Mark Lovatt (GBr) Pro-Vision                   3.07
5 Julian Winn (GBr) GS Strada-R Project          3.11
6 David Rand (GBr) Bournemouth Arro              3.19
7 Scott Guyton (NZl) Flanders-Prefetex           3.30
8 Steven De Neef (Bel) Flanders-Prefetex 
9 Jonny Clay (GBr) SLBM                          4.07
10 Huw Pritchard (GBr) Linda McCartney           4.11
11 Grant Bayton (GBr) Total Fitness              4.13
12 Martin Ford (GBr) Arctic 200Rt
13 Glyn Shirley (GBr) Rutland CC
14 Dean Downing (GBr) VC St Raphael
15 James Griffiths (GBr) Linda McCartney
16 Patrick Moriarty (Irl) Ireland                4.19
17 Gethin Butler (GBr) Preston Whls
18 Danny Axford (GBr) Rcc Imports-Roch
19 Neil Swithenbank (GBr) Great Britain          4.26
20 Rod Ellingworth (GBr) Mcell-Raleigh           7.33
21 Pelle Kill (Ned) Energiewacht-NWV             7.52
22 Julian Gromett (GBr) T Wright Cyc-Raleigh    11.35
23 Hamish Haynes (GBr) Prickett-Atom El
24 Tjarco Cuppens (Ned) Velo Team DCM
25 Andy Lyons (GBr) Unattached
26 Mike Jones (GBr) R Grinsell Trave
27 Matthew Larner (GBr) Lichfield City Club
28 Gareth Sheppard (GBr) Cardiff Jif
29 Robin Sharman (GBr) Alsys-Bradgate
30 Wim Renders (Bel) Velo Team DCM              11.59
31 Ian Holt (GBr) Unattached                    14.05
32 Duncan Urquhart (GBr) Pete Read-Caygil
33 Robert English (GBr) Cambridge Uni CC
34 Wayne Randle (GBr) Pro-Vision
35 Paul Crook (GBr) Heffs BS-Jackson
36 Peter Hinchcliffe (GBr) Penzance Cycle Club
37 Tom Barras (GBr) Linda McCartney
38 David Langlands (GBr) Fenland Clarion
39 Ian Gilkes (GBr) GS Strada-R Projecy
40 Sean Dawson (Can) Sigma Sport
41 Kevin Dawson (GBr) Pete Read-Caygil
42 Frank Boeckx (Bel) Velo Team DCM
43 Eugene Moriarty (Irl) Ireland
44 Stephen O'Sullivan (Irl) Ireland
45 Adrian Bird (GBr) R Grinsell Travel
46 Matt Watch (GBr) Amore E Vita
47 Bjorn De Roo (Bel) VS Reigerlo-Beer
48 Marnix Lapeire (Bel) VS Reigerlo-Beer
49 Adrian Mawdsley (GBr) Paul Moy-Peugeot
50 Koen Hermans (Bel) Velo Team DCM
51 Bill Moore (Irl) Ireland                     14.43

Premier Calendar standings after eight rounds:

1 Chris Newton (GBr) Middridge CRT                  164 pts
2 Jon Clay (GBr) BCF Private Member                 142
3 John Tanner (GBr) Provision Powerbar              113
4 Huw Pritchard (GBr) Linda McCartney-WCU           113
5 Julian Winn (GBr) WCU-Private Member              109
6 Mark Lovatt (GBr) Provision Powerbar               99
7 Andy Lyons (GBr) BCF Private Member                85
8 Wayne Randle (GBr) Provision Powerbar              71
9 Rod Ellingworth (GBr) Team Mcell                   71
10 Gordon Mccauley (GBr) Equilibrium Oleum RT        69
11 Kevin Dawson (GBr) Pete Reade Racing              56
12 Steve Stoneman (GBr) www.Real Cost Imports        53
13 Antony Malarczyk (GBr) www.Real Cost Imports      47
14 Paul Manning (GBr) Alsager MRT/Adidas             41
15 Russell Downing (GBr) BCF Private Member          40
16 Roger Hammond (GBr) Collstrop/De Federale         40
17 Mike Jones (GBr) Robert Grinsell Travel           39
18 Danny Axford (GBr) www.Real Cost Imports          38
19 Rob Hayles (GBr) Athletes 1                       35
20 David Mccann (GBr) Ireland                        35
21 Martin Ford (GBr) BCF Private Member              34
22 Gethin Butler (GBr) Preston Wheelers              33
23 Aaron Mccaffrey (GBr) Heffs Bike/Jackson          31
24 Ben Brooks (Aus) Linda McCartney RT               30
25 Dave Rand (GBr) Great Britain                     29
26 Julian Ramsbottom (GBr) Pete Reade Racing         25
27 Matt Illingworth (GBr) Private Member             25
Premier Calendar Races in Series 

* 1. 12th March Oleum-Starlight Grand Prix 
* 2. 19th March Grand Prix of Essex Road Race 
* 3. 26th March Romford-Harlow Road Race 
* 4. 1st - 2nd April Europa 2 Day Stage Race 
* 5. 9th April Archer International Grand Prix RR 
* 6. 16th April Lancaster Mercedes Grand Prix RR 
* 7. 22nd - 24th April Girvan Stage Race 
* 8. 7th May Lincoln International Grand Prix RR 
9.  14th May Chairman's Silver Spoon Road Race 
10. 20th-21st May East Riding of Yorkshire Classic
11. 27th - 28th May Tour of the Kingdom Stage Race 
12. 10th - 11th June Robert Hobbs Memorial Stage Race 
13. 23rd June Manx International Road Race 
14. 9th July Five Valleys Road Race 
15. 30th July International Tour of the Cotswolds RR 
16. 6th August Havant International Grand Prix 
17. 13th August Glasgow - Dunoon Hayward Tyler Classic 
18. 10th September International Tour of the Peak RR 
19. 17th September Gun Hill Premier Race 


This year's GP Lincoln reaches the grand old age of 45 but is only appearing on the UCI calendar for the second time. Last year's winner Saulius Ruskys and his French Saint Quentin team will be racing in Dunkirk, but the race line up features other strong teams, including Dutch squad Energiewacht-NWVG, Belgian Team Reygerlo and the Cidona Carrick team from Ireland. The British, Irish and Welsh National teams complete the international teams.

The home based riders include in form Jonny Clay who has ridden The Lincoln Grand Prix many times and after his Easter victory in Scotland's Girvan Stage Race will be looking to increase his lead in the British Cycling Federation's Premier Trophy Series. He faces strong home challenges from current National Champion John Tanner, National Criterium Champion Chris Walker and winner of two of the counting events earlier this year, Chris Newton. Lincolnshire supporters should be looking out for Rod Ellingworth who also achieved an outstanding 3rd place Easter performance in Scotland, leading the event until the final day. The other local favourite Richard Hobby is unfortunately side lined this year with a broken ankle.

The 163 kilometre race, starting at 11:30 am from theYarborough Sports Centre is a circuit of 13 laps. Each lap involves climbing up Lincoln's Michaelgate, a 1 in 6 cobbled hill that will present a challenge to the riders by the finish. Finish time is expected to be 3:15 pm in Castle Square.

Past Winners

1956	Bob Eastwood (GBr)
1957	Ron Coe (GBr)
1958	Ron Coe (GBr)
1959	Ron Coe (GBr)
1960	John Perks (GBr)
1961	John Perks (GBr)
1962	Jim Grieves (GBr)
1963	Albert Hitchen (GBr)
1964	Albert Hitchen (GBr)
1965	Arthur Durha (GBr)
1966	John Clarey (GBr)
1967	Des Thompson (NZl)
1968	Doug Dailey (GBr)
1969	Pete Smith (GBr)
1970	Tom Mullins (GBr)
1971	Dave Allen (GBr)
1972	Phil Edwards (GBr)
1973	Dave Vose (GBr)
1974	Steve Heffernan	(GBr)
1975	Tony Gornall (GBr)
1976	Bill Nickson (GBr)
1977	Dave Cuming (GBr)
1978	Steve Lawrence (GBr)
1979	Geoff Taylor (GBr)
1980	Steve Joughin (GBr)
1981	Phil Thomas (GBr)
1982	Mark Bell (GBr)
1983	Malcolm Elliott (GBr)
1984	Neil Martin (GBr)
1985	Darryl Webster (GBr)
1986	Paul Curran (GBr)
1987	Paul Curran (GBr)
1988	Paul Curran (GBr)
1989	Mark Gornall (GBr)
1990	Brian Smith (GBr)
1991	Paul Curran (GBr)
1992	John Charlesworth (GBr)
1993	Keith Reynolds (GBr)
1994	Chris Walker (GBr)
1995	Mark Walsham (GBr)
1996	Kevin Dawson (GBr)
1997	John Tanner (GBr)
1998	Chris Lillywhite (GBr)
1999	Saulius Ruskis (Ltu) Team Oktos - MBK