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48th Lincoln International GP - 1.5
Great Britain, May 11, 2003
Finally Lovatt's Lincoln
By Gerry McManus
Mark Lovatt (Life Repair RT) finally took his first victory in the Lincoln GP on Sunday. The 32-year-old from Leek in Staffordshire dropped his breakaway companion Gordon McCauley (Maximise-Almero) on the thirteenth and final ascent of the tortuous cobbled climb of Michaelgate to take the chequered flag eleven years after his first attempt in 1992.
The 102-mile race was eventful from the start with Chris Newton (Corima RT) going clear at the top of Michaelgate on the first lap but he was quickly brought to heel.
Kevin Dawson (Life Repair RT) was next to go clear with a brave Keith Haddon (Ashfield RC) and Matt Bottrill (Race Scene) but like so many breaks on the warm breezy day, they were short lived. Each break inevitably contained a Life Repair rider with Chris Newton and Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello RT) not far behind.
After 40-miles of racing Nick Craig (Trek UK) led a group of ten up to Castle Square holding on to a slim lead of a handful of seconds. Moments earlier the gap had been 22 seconds but this almost evaporated as the main contenders suddenly stepped up a gear. Haddon was again at the head of affairs with Lovatt and Elliott on his wheel. Kay Kermer (Marco Polo RT) was the only international visitor with the lead group until a lap later five riders managed to bridge the gap including McCauley, Jean Baptist Beraud and Nicolas Jaunet from France. Matt Stephens (Sigma RT) continued his return to form by also making it into the decisive move.
A group of 19 behind proved too large for an organized chase and they fell back to bunch with the lead growing to 1:55. The severity of the pace and the windy conditions had whittled the bunch down to 38 but this didn't deter attacking from the leaders. Finally the elastic broke and a neat three-way split of five riders each evolved.
John Tanner (Life Repair RT), Lovatt, Elliott, McCauley and Newton wasted no time and forged ahead as the leading group and had gained 1:24 on the chasers with just over two laps and 18-miles remaining. The cat and mouse tactics started on the flat run in back to the city centre with Lovatt and Tanner having the obvious numeric advantage but the others proved worthy adversaries. McCauley and Tanner managed a brief period of freedom dangling off the front but Newton and Elliott brought the group back together with Tanner on police patrol behind. It looked like McCauley finally paid for his earlier efforts when he lost contact on the climb of Michaelgate but the mercurial New Zealander can never be written off so quickly as he chased for around three miles to regain contact despite the obvious efforts of Newton and Co. to distance him.
Lovatt's winning move was simple. On the long rise approaching the city and with only McCauley to see him make the jump from behind, he launched his bid for victory and the dynamic duo took off to fight it out between themselves. McCauley finally ran out of steam in the last 50 metres to finish second with Elliott proving he can still sprint by beating Tanner to third spot.
Lovatt was clearly delighted with the win. "John (Tanner) and I were jumping about all the time and I was lucky to get away with Gordon (McCauley) as I think he was the weakest on the climb of the five of us," he said: "I knew we had dropped him on the climb earlier so when I got away with him I thought I might be able to beat him up it. Gordon said he was knackered but you are never sure with Gordon. I didn't want to attack that far out and he was a good ally."
McCauley was happy with the final result. "I've got to be happy with second. I was dropped and chasing solo and didn't get back on until we got to the descent. Mark was going really well and he just rode away from me on the climb. When I got away with Mark (Lovatt) I stayed with him on the climb and worked hard with him on the flat. I knew I was always going to get second as I was completely cooked."
Images by Gerry McManus
Images by Roger Thomas
1 Mark Lovatt (GBr) Life Repair Cycle Race Team 4.02.46 2 Gordon McCauley (NZl) Maximise-Almero 0.07 3 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) Pinarello Racing Team 0.25 4 John Tanner (GBr) Life Repair Cycle Race Team 0.27 5 Chris Newton (GBr) Corima Racing Team 0.40 6 Tino Haakman (Ned) BRC Kennemerland 2.50 7 Kevin Dawson (GBr) Life Repair Cycle Race Team 8 George Richardson (GBr) CyclOps 9 Matthew Stephens (GBr) Sigma Sport 3.44 10 Stephane Diemunsch (Fra) Ile de France 11 Gary Dodd (GBr) Sigma Sport 12 James Flanagan (GBr) Team Milton Keynes 13 Francis de Jager (Ned) BRC Kennemerland 14 Jean Baptist Beraud (Fra) Ile de France 15 Shaun Snodden (GBr) J E James Racing Team 16 Kay Kermer (Ger) Marco Polo Racing Team 17 Nicolas Jaunet (Fra) Ile de France 18 Roy Chamberlain (GBr) Team Milton Keynes 19 Frederic Simon (Fra) Ile de France 20 Roger Morgan (GBr) Parrot Print Racing Team 21 Warrick Spence (NZl) Bikepark Cyclefit 4.04 22 Chris Young (GBr) Team Marie Curie 23 Mark Wordsworth (GBr) Doncaster Wheelers 24 Phil Dixon (GBr) Trek UK 25 Andy Collis (GBr) Team Lichfield 26 Jeremy Vennell (NZl) BRC Kennemerland 27 Emile Abrahams (Tri) Maestro-Nella 4.19 28 Keith Haddon (GBr) Ashfield Road Club 26.24 29 Erwin Goenga (Ned) Team Moes DTS 30 Liam Killeen (GBr) Great Britain 31 Rob Enslin (RSA) Prestige Velo Club 32 Ivor Bruin (Ned) BRC Kennemerland 33 Dave Wothington (GBr) Prestige Velo Club 34 Adam Illingworth (GBr) Team Milton Keynes 35 Gary Hand (GBr) Scotland 36 Alastair Kay (GBr) York Cycleworks 37 Dean Downing (GBr) John Saey Cycling Team 38 George Rose (GBr) Wales 39 Bryan Russell (GBr) Scotland 40 Mark Perry (GBr) Maestro 41 Paul Dixon (GBr) RaceScene Cycling Club 42 Christopher Daddy (GBr) Heiros Aguera 43 Martin Gee (GBr) Team Bradgate 44 Bozidar Stajkovac (Ned) Team Moes DTS 45 Andrew Stuart (GBr) Ashfield Road Club 46 Christian Varley (GBr) Maestro-Nella 47 Tim Wilson (Aus) Marco Polo Racing Team 48 Geoff Beetham (GBr) ERVelo 49 Grant Bayton (GBr) Angliasport 50 Jeffrey Capper (GBr) Sigma Sport 51 Greg Roche (GBr) Team Energy Cycles 52 Matthew Armitage (GBr) RaceScene Cycling Club 53 Steve Lampier (GBr) Team South West 54 Chris Debins (GBr) Prestige Velo Club 55 Bryan Steel (GBr) Great Britain 56 Gareth Jones (GBr) Team Energy Cycles 57 Matthew Bottrill (GBr) RaceScene Cycling Club 58 Brendan Curry (GBr) J E James Racing Team 59 Menno de Boer (Ned) Team Moes DTS 60 Chris Spence (GBr) Caesarean Cycling Club 61 Steve Cumming (GBr) Great Britain 62 Keiran Page (GBr) Great Britain
2002 Huw Pritchard (GBr) AngliaSport 2001 John Tanner (GBr) Ribble/ProVision 2000 Chris Newton (GBr) Middridge CRT 1999 Saulius Ruskis (Ltu) Team Oktos - MBK 1998 Chris Lillywhite (GBr) 1997 John Tanner (GBr) 1996 Kevin Dawson (GBr) 1995 Mark Walsham (GBr) 1994 Chris Walker (GBr) 1993 Keith Reynolds (GBr) 1992 John Charlesworth (GBr) 1991 Paul Curran (GBr) 1990 Brian Smith (GBr) 1989 Mark Gornall (GBr) 1988 Paul Curran (GBr) 1987 Paul Curran (GBr) 1986 Paul Curran (GBr) 1985 Darryl Webster (GBr) 1984 Neil Martin (GBr) 1983 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) 1982 Mark Bell (GBr) 1981 Phil Thomas (GBr) 1980 Steve Joughin (GBr) 1979 Geoff Taylor (GBr) 1978 Steve Lawrence (GBr) 1977 Dave Cuming (GBr) 1976 Bill Nickson (GBr) 1975 Tony Gornall (GBr) 1974 Steve Heffernan (GBr) 1973 Dave Vose (GBr) 1972 Phil Edwards (GBr) 1971 Dave Allen (GBr) 1970 Tom Mullins (GBr) 1969 Pete Smith (GBr) 1968 Doug Dailey (GBr) 1967 Des Thompson (NZl) 1966 John Clarey (GBr) 1965 Arthur Durha (GBr) 1964 Albert Hitchen (GBr) 1963 Albert Hitchen (GBr) 1962 Jim Grieves (GBr) 1961 John Perks (GBr) 1960 John Perks (GBr) 1959 Ron Coe (GBr) 1958 Ron Coe (GBr) 1957 Ron Coe (GBr) 1956 Bob Eastwood (GBr) Past winners courtesy of Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com