|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
47th Lincoln International GP - 1.5
Great Britain, May 12, 2002
Lincoln win for Welsh wizard.
By Gerry McManus, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Welshman Huw Pritchard (Angliasport- Condor Cycles) conjured up a little piece of magic to take the Lincoln International GP in the UK on Sunday 12th May. At the end of the rapid 102-mile event, he dropped his breakaway partner Brad Wiggins (FDJ) on the 13th and final climb of the cobbled Michaelgate to achieve a boyhood dream. The two had finished ahead of a charging chase group with Paul Redenbach (Team Down Under) taking a deserved third spot for the team that appeared to have a rider in every move.
The race had started under gloomy skies in the morning with a number of names appearing near the front each time on the steep climb up by the cathedral for the first five laps including Andrew Roche (Isle of Man), Julian Winn (GS Pinarello) and Ben Brooks (Team Down Under). An early crash saw the bunch stretched out on lap one with Julian Gromett (Cottingham Couriers) being one of the pre-race favourites to be on the wrong side of the gap, and was forced to retire early.
As the weather warmed up, six riders escaped with Anthony Malarzyk (Atom Elite), Pritchard, Mark Lovatt (Compensation Group RT), Jason McIntyre (Team Velo Escosse) making the cut with Roche and Brooks. Once they had established a gap, their lead to the bunch fluctuated from 18 seconds to around 40 seconds as the bunch gained and lost interest. The notable instigators of the chase were Gethin Butler (Preston Wheelers) and Wiggins.
All the while Kevin Dawson (Compensation Group RT) and Steve Cummings (Team Sport & Publicity) were dangling off the front only a tantalising seven or so seconds away from the leaders, eventually bridging the gap after a long chase. The leaders worked well together with McIntyre being dropped on lap eight and with Wiggins on the front of the bunch the lead was cut to 30 seconds only for it to increase again as he swung off. A concerted group effort saw the race together again on lap nine.
Paul Redenbach (Team Down Under) was the next to instigate a break taking no prisoners on the cobbles as he attacked taking five along for a brave short-lived effort.
It was on lap eleven that the spectators got a glimpse of Pritchard’s serious intentions as he led the whole peloton though the finish staying clear of trouble.
On the bell-lap, with the bunch split in two, Pritchard finally carved the lead with Wiggins to win the event and released the powerful grip that the Compensation Group team had on the UK Premier series calendar. Kevin Dawson was fourth and Mark Lovatt fifth on the day.
Amazingly, Pritchard had been racing on the Manchester track on the eve of the event.
"I tried to take it easy for the first few laps having raced last night," a delighted Pritchard said: "After about four laps, I couldn't get positioned for the climb so I attacked at the roundabout before the climb and about six of us got away. I couldn't believe how long we stayed away because we were never more than 40 seconds in front."
He had his doubts about his condition after the break was caught.
"I put another attack in with about two laps to go but I was just testing my legs really but it helped to kick me into gear and I felt good on the last lap. I attacked again and Brad (Wiggins) came with me and we started working well straight away. I am especially pleased to win this race, I have wanted to win it since I was seventeen. It’s almost as good as being British Champion I think."
Images courtesy of Gerry McManus
1 Huw Pritchard (GBr) AngliaSport 3.59.33 (41.28 km/h) 2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Les Francais Des Jeux 0.07 3 Paul Redenbach (Aus) Team Down Under 0.10 4 Kevin Dawson (GBr) Compensation Group 0.22 5 Mark Lovatt (GBr) Compensation Group 0.29 6 Ben Brooks (Aus) Team Down Under 0.38 7 Mark Roland (Aus) Team Down Under 8 Andrew Roche (GBr) Isle of Man 9 Anthony Malarczyk (GBr) Atom Elite RT 1.21 10 Gary Dodd (GBr) Sigma Sport RT 1.45 11 John Tanner (GBr) Compensation Group 1.50 12 Neil Swithenbank (GBr) MK Cycles 13 Bill Nickson (GBr) BCF Private Member 14 Mike Jones (GBr) Robert Grinsell 15 Gethin Butler (GBr) Preston Whls 16 Martin Ford (GBr) Wheelspincycles 17 James Cambridge (GBr) Team Bradgate 18 Russell Downing (GBr) iteamnova 19 Andrew Randall (Can) Team Sympatico 20 Julian Winn (GBr) GS Pinarello 21 Matthew Stephens (GBr) Sigma Sport RT 22 Justin Hoy (GBr) Liphook Cycles 23 Mark Kelly (GBr) Isle of Man 24 Roger Morgan (GBr) Liphook Cycles 25 Paul Dixon (GBr) Race Scene 26 Leon Vogels (Aus) Team Down Under 27 Mark Wordsworth (GBr) Dinnington RC 28 Brendan Curry (GBr) JE James Racing 29 Neil Smith (GBr) VC Lincoln 30 Dominique Rollin (Can) Team Sympatico 31 Paul Sheppard (GBr) AngliaSport 32 Matthew Armitage (GBr) Race Scene 33 Lee Davis (GBr) Team Ronhill 34 Craig Thomson (NZl) Marco Polo CC 35 Stuart MacDonald (GBr) Cwmcarn Paragon 36 Mark Baker (GBr) Great Britain 37 Glen Chadwick (Aus) Team Down Under 38 Matt Bottrill (GBr) Race Scene 39 Mike Moss (GBr) Cottingham Crs 40 Graham Biggs (GBr) Dinnington RC 4.25