Location: Yarborough Leisure Centre Riseholme Road, Lincoln
Event: 12 May 2013
Published: 8 May 2013
The 2013 British Cycling Premier Calendar Road Race Series continues on Sunday 12 May with the University of Lincoln Grand Prix.
After the drama at the Tour of the Reservoir 2-Day kicked off the series in apt fashion, a visit to the quaint city in the East Midlands for the 58th edition of the race is the perfect follow up.
The traditional format of 102 miles over 13 laps of the eight mile circuit finishing in the Castle Square should provide the usual beguiling racing as 160 riders look to add their name to a notable list of previous winners including Malcolm Elliot, Chris Newton and Russ Downing, who described the event as the ‘biggest race in the country with the best crowds’.
Despite his excellent overall win in Northumberland, Team Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant was denied top spot in the Premier Calendar standings due to the part played by time bonuses in his victory. Instead it is Chris Opie of Team UK Youth who occupies the lead position with an advantage of just six points.
But with seven different teams represented in the top 10, a close fought series is unfolding and with points on offer for the first 20 riders to finish ranging from 100 points for the winner down to two points for 20th place things could get a real shake up on Sunday with the current top 10 positions all within 100 points.
Oliphant has been included as a late entrant and with Opie withdrawing on Thursday due to illness the former could take the overall lead, though he will contend with some notable Great Britain riders expected to be involved.
Team pursuit Olympic champions Steven Burke (Node4 - Giordana Racing) and Peter Kennaugh - representing Team Isle of Man and not Team Sky on the back of helping Chris Froome to the Tour de Romandie - will take to the start line as will Andy Tennant (Madison Genesis).
Madison Genesis also feature 2007 Lincoln GP winner Dean Downing whilst Rapha Condor JLT include Kristian House, who won in 2006. Third place at the Tour of the Reservoir Peter Hawkins (Team IG Sigma Sport) will continue his season.
Four time victor in Lincoln Russ Downing - most recently in 2012 - and Scott Thwaites are both absent with Team Net-App Endura.
The field will start at Yarborough Sports Centre at 10.00am, heading out to Burton before returning to Lincoln and the undoubted focal point of the race – the one in six cobbled climb of Michaelgate which has often decided the outcome of the race over the 13 instances it is confronted over the 102 miles.
The finish at Castle Square, with the backdrop of the Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle, is expected to entice over 8,000 spectators to enjoy the action.
Highlights of the University of Lincoln Grand Prix will be shown on Eurosport on 18 May, with Eurosport broadcasting highlights of every event in the British Cycling Premier Calendar Road Race Series through the season.