Features Reports

2023 Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix p/b Wattbike: report and results

Robyn Clay and Alex Richardson won the women’s and men's editions of the 2023 Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix

Robyn Clay took the biggest win of her career so far as she triumphed in the Rapha Women’s Lincoln Grand Prix presented by Wattbike, taking her maiden National Road Series win in fine style as she soloed to victory up the cobbles of Michaelgate on the final lap.

In the men’s race, Saint Piran carved out a dominant 1-2-3 as Alex Richardson took his second win at the race, ahead of teammates Zeb Kyffin and Jack Rootkin-Gray.

Featured image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Report

Women’s race

The seventh edition of the Rapha Women’s Lincoln Grand Prix p/b Wattbike welcomed a packed field under cool and misty skies, this second round of the National Road Series continuing the general vibe of being on the cooler side – the joys of Britain in spring. 

2023 Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix presented by Wattbike – Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

As the field powered its way up Michaelgate for the first time, four riders were visibly pushing the pace, with April Tacey (Lifeplus – Wahoo), Emma Jeffers (DAS-Handsling), and the Shibden Hope Tech Apex duo of Imogen Wolff and Cat Ferguson stringing out the group behind. They were helped, in part, by a minor crash as they ascended for the first time as a mammoth pack tried to squeeze itself thinner in preparation for the climb. 

The peloton stayed together in the early laps of the 13km circuit, however, despite the efforts of those pushing up each ascent of Michaelgate. The Shibden pair continued to be visible, kept company by a rotation of DAS-Handsling riders including Lucy Lee, Monica Greenwood and Sophie Thackray. Team Boompods also kept a watching brief. The entrance to Michaelgate continued to cause challenges for those further back, the peloton still large enough that the squeeze from wide asphalt to narrow cobbles meant those too far back were hindered by minor crashes and mechanicals.

With the pack still going strong at the front, a group of roughly 50 riders were in the bunch as it split, with roughly 30 riders starting to drop off the pace as the race tackled Michaelgate for the fourth time. Again, it was Lee who was shepherding the leaders forward but a cast of riders – Tiffany Keep (Hutchinson – Brother UK) on the fourth pass – kept the speed high and wouldn’t let anyone rest for a second. 

2023 Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix presented by Wattbike – Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

After half distance, with four laps to go, the race elastic finally snapped as five riders – Robyn Clay (Pro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee), the DAS-Handsling pair of Grace Lister and Sammie Stuart, Heather Mayer (Hutchinson – Brother UK) and Team Boompod’s Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne – all broke clear. 

The quintet built themselves a handy lead of more than 30 seconds with three to go. With DAS-Handsling also having riders at the front of the chasing group disrupting efforts of an increasingly fractured and diminishing bunch, the race tilted in favour of the breakaway. With two laps to go, the leaders crossed the line with 44 seconds in hand.

With the leading five working hand-in-hand, the chase fell way off the pace on the penultimate lap, staring at a deficit of 1’50” as they took the bell, too fractured to try and mount any sort of challenge to the riders out front.

That five took the last lap as a whole and, as they headed back into Lincoln, it was Michaelgate that proved decisive as Clay attacked up the cobbles and left her rivals trailing in her wake. 

2023 Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix presented by Wattbike – Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England – Women’s Race winner Robyn Clay – Pro-Noctis-Heidi Kjelden – 200 Degrees Coffee celebrates. Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Ultimately, she took an untroubled run to the line, six seconds over Hodgkins-Byrne who tried to go with her but ran out of energy when push came to shove. Third went to Stuart another eight seconds back on the lead duo. 

With a strong seventh place, Monica Greenwood (DAS-Handsling) is the new National Road Series leader, with Clay the best-placed Under-23 rider just two points behind Greenwood. Greenwood’s DAS-Handsling team lead the team standings. Elsewhere, Imogen Wolff won the Ian Emmerson Michaelgate Trophy for her efforts early in the race. 

After the race, Robyn spoke to The British Continental.

Men’s race

The men’s National Road Series got underway in the afternoon in what were mild conditions under the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral.

On the first lap Ciaran McSherry (The Cycling Academy) and Rory Townsend (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) put in a dig up Michaelgate and created a gap. A lap later, the pair were joined by TRINITY Racing’s Dean Harvey and William Tidball (Saint Piran) as their advantage stretched to a dozen seconds. 

The escape was shortlived, however, and by the third ascent of Michaelgate it was all back together, albeit the bunch was fractured as it would its way up the cobbles.

By lap four, a dozen riders had broken clear, the peloton not far behind, running single file as they looked to use the gutters to get some relief from the bone-shaking cobbles. 

The early break of a dozen.. Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix presented by Wattbike – Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

The leading 12 included all four of the original break and a strong selection of joiners including Finn Crockett (The Cycling Academy), Max Stedman (Private), David Hird (ROKiT-SRCT), Seb Garry (Kalas Motip), Dan Gardner (Embark Spirit BSS), and another three Saint Piran riders – Jack Rootkin-Gray, Zeb Kyffin and Harry Birchill. As they reached lap 5 of 13, their advantage had risen to over 30 seconds.

Despite all that work, it didn’t last and the leaders found themselves swallowed back up into the swirling mass behind. But through it all, Saint Piran maintained a presence at the front as Alex Richardson took up the mantle of driving the bunch forward. 

More change at the front followed, as ten riders broke clear, including four from the previous escape – Kyffin, Birchill, Gardner, and Harvey – along with Richardson, Sam Culverwell (Dolan Ellesse Race Team), Matt Fox (Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli), James Jobber (EuroCyclingTrips), George Wood (Cycling Sheffield), Dexter Leeming-Sykes (Wold Top the Edge Pactimo).

The ten then broke apart again a lap later as Harvey and Richardson forced themselves clear, powering through the centre of Lincoln, with James McKay (Cycling Sheffield) and Irish road race champion Townsend now leading a select chase group that also featured Rowan Baker (London Dynamo), Culverwell, Leeming-Sykes, Rootkin-Gray, Birchill and Kyffin.

Kyffin and Rootkin-Gray bridged across to Richardson and Harvey on the next lap, strengthening Saint Piran’s hand yet further. As the men black applied the pressure, Irishman Harvey was starting to be squeezed. There was no time for games though, with the four just 20 seconds ahead with four laps remaining. 

Rootkin-Gray, Richardson and Kyffin lead the way. Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix presented by Wattbike – Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Initiative seized, the quartet grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck and wouldn’t let go. The four worked well together – aided by the fact that three were from the same team – and kept a high cadence and pace, not giving the chasers even a sniff of closing the gap as 20 seconds grew to 30 seconds and then beyond a minute.

With Saint Piran turning the front of the race into a team time trial, Harvey found himself overwhelmed. Despite his best efforts, he finally dropped out the back of the lead quartet at the start of the penultimate lap, which meant the win was virtually assured for the Cornish squad.  

The trio remained together for the final two laps, giving no indication who would take the win. As they hit the finish line it was almost a formation finish, Richardson punching the air with delight to take his second win at Lincoln, a couple of seconds ahead of Kyffin and Rootkin-Gray.

Alex Richardson wins the 2023 Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix presented by Wattbike – Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Cycling Sheffield’s James McKay was the best of the rest, continuing his brilliant season with 4th, while Townsend was 5th. Townsend’s early efforts rewarded him with the Brian Cossovella Michaelgate Trophy for the best climber in the race.

Meanwhile, Richardson’s win means he is the first recipient of the National Road Series leaders jersey. His team, Saint Piran, are already the runaway leaders of the team standings after a dominant display.

After the race, The British Continental caught up with Richardson.

Results

Women’s race

PosBibRiderAgeTeam
179 Robyn ClayU23Pro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee
2107 Charlotte Hodgkins-ByrneSeniorTeam Boompods
331 Sammie StuartSeniorDAS – Handsling Bikes
428 Grace ListerU23DAS – Handsling Bikes
543 Heather MayerSeniorHutchinson-Brother UK
696 Cat FergusonJuniorShibden Hope Tech Apex
725 Monica GreenwoodSeniorDAS – Handsling Bikes
846 Tiffany KeepSeniorHutchinson-Brother UK
9100 Imogen WolffJuniorShibden Hope Tech Apex
1084 Corinne SideSeniorPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee
1192 Danielle KhanSeniorSaint Piran WRT
12112 Mary WilkinsonSeniorTeam Boompods
13110 Ellen McDermottSeniorTeam Boompods
1441 Jessie CarridgeSeniorHutchinson-Brother UK
15136 Alice SharpeSeniorIsrael – Premier Tech Development
162 Sophie EneverSeniorAlba Development Road Team
1770 Awen RobertsJuniorLiv Cycling Club – Halo Films
1883 Zoe LanghamSeniorPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee
1967 April TaceySeniorLifeplus – Wahoo
2080 Bexy DewSeniorPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee
21119 Holly RamseyJuniorTofauti Everyone Active
2251 Beth Harley-JepsonSeniorJadan Vive le Velo p/b Glasdon
23114 Isabel DarvillSeniorTeam Spectra Cannondale
2462 Katy HillSeniorLondon Dynamo
2560 Eline SmitSeniorLAKA Pedal Mafia RT
2665 Madelaine LeechU23Lifeplus – Wahoo
2747 Lydia WattsSeniorHutchinson-Brother UK
28101 Esther WongJuniorShibden Hope Tech Apex
297 Amelia TylerSeniorAlba Development Road Team
3045 Ruth ShierSeniorHutchinson-Brother UK
3182 Amy GornallSeniorPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee
32142 Erin AvillU23Storey Racing
33131 Kim BaptistaSeniorAyr Roads Cycling Club
34140 Annabel RamsayU23RFDA
35139 Nicola GreenwoodSeniorRFDA
3674 Amber HardingSeniorLoughborough Lightning
3773 Francesca HallSeniorLoughborough Lightning
38108 Katarzyna MadejSeniorTeam Boompods
3993 Annamarie LippSeniorSaint Piran WRT
4026 Emma JeffersU23DAS – Handsling Bikes
41102 Olivia FrenchSeniorStolenGoat Race Team
4269 Niamh MurphyJuniorLiv Cycling Club – Halo Films
4342 Harriet DoddSeniorHutchinson-Brother UK
4486 Jo TindleySeniorPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee
4518 Lotty DawsonJuniorBrother UK-Orientation Marketing
4681 Lucy EllmoreU23Pro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee
47116 Lucy Benezet MinnsJuniorTofauti Everyone Active
48117 Amelia CebakJuniorTofauti Everyone Active
4916 Libby SmithsonU23AWOL – O’Shea
5010 Jessica FinneySeniorAWOL – O’Shea
5132 Sophie ThackraySeniorDAS – Handsling Bikes
52106 Jayati HineSeniorTeam Boompods
5327 Lucy LeeSeniorDAS – Handsling Bikes
5440 Sian BotteleySeniorHutchinson-Brother UK
55109 Sian MarshSeniorTeam Boompods
5629 Katie ScottU23DAS – Handsling Bikes
57128 Frances OwenSeniorWahoo – Le Col
5833 Maddie HeywoodSeniorFTP-Fulfil The Potential-Racing
5995 Alice CollingJuniorShibden Hope Tech Apex
60103 Lena KaneSeniorStolenGoat Race Team
61120 Lowri RichardsJuniorTofauti Everyone Active
6271 Philippa DraperU23Loughborough Lightning
6397 Lucy GloverJuniorShibden Hope Tech Apex
64123 Anastasia BowlerSeniorWahoo – Le Col
65147 Molly PatchSeniorHutchinson-Brother UK
6612 Emily MeakinSeniorAWOL – O’Shea
67111 Lauren RobinsonSeniorTeam Boompods
6854 Abi PlowmanSeniorJadan Vive le Velo p/b Glasdon
6939 Rosie WaylandSeniorFTP-Fulfil The Potential-Racing
70141 Madeleine NuttSeniorRibble Collective
7120 Harriet EvansSeniorBrother UK-Orientation Marketing
7264 Jessica PriorSeniorLDN-Academy
7356 Penny ColloffSeniorLAKA Pedal Mafia RT
7494 Rebecca RichardsSeniorSaint Piran WRT
7568 Matilda McKibbenJuniorLiv Cycling Club – Halo Films
7698 Isabel MayesJuniorShibden Hope Tech Apex
7748 Skye DavidsonSeniorJadan Vive le Velo p/b Glasdon
7875 Emily KaySeniorLoughborough Lightning
79121 Mia RutterfordJuniorTofauti Everyone Active
80146 Savannah MorganSeniorPrivate Member
81113 Xan CreesSeniorTeam Spectra Cannondale
8287 Ella BarnwellU23Saint Piran WRT
83138 Cecilia HimeSeniorParadigm Cycles
DNS30 Danielle ShrosbreeSeniorDAS – Handsling Bikes

Men’s race

PosBibRiderAgeTeam
166 Alexandar RichardsonSeniorSaint Piran
264 Zeb KyffinSeniorSaint Piran
367 Jack Rootkin-GrayU23Saint Piran
420 James McKaySeniorCycling Sheffield
5113 Rory TownsendSeniorBolton Equities-Blackspoke
662 Harry BirchillU23Saint Piran
7108 Dexter Leeming-SykesU23Wold Top The Edge Pactimo
8125 Rowan BakerU23London Dynamo
9118 Sam CulverwellU23BC East Midlands Carter-Legrand
103 Dean HarveyU23Trinity Racing Team
1161 Jenson YoungU23ROKiT-SRCT
1269 Will TidballSeniorSaint Piran
13115 Ali SlaterSeniorClancy Briggs Cycling Academy
14105 Tim ShoremanSeniorWheelbase CabTech Castelli
1568 Charlie TanfieldSeniorSaint Piran
1682 George PedenSeniorTeam PB Performance
1733 Joe WilsonU23Embark Spirit BSS
18150 Maximilian StedmanSeniorAT85 Pro Cycling
1997 Huw Buck JonesU23Wales Racing Academy
20126 Ben GrangerSeniorMg.K VIS Colors for Peace VPM
2157 Joseph BeckingsaleSeniorROKiT-SRCT
2272 Jamie PullenU23TAAP Endura
2358 William TrueloveU23ROKiT-SRCT
2453 Conor McGoldrickSeniorRichardsons Trek DAS
2565 William RobertsSeniorSaint Piran
2635 Sebastian GarrySeniorKalas Motip Race Team
27132 Joseph LaverickSeniorRibble Collective
2877 John BullerSeniorTeam PB Performance
29149 Joseph SmithU23Private Member
3038 Cameron McLarenSeniorKalas Motip Race Team
31119 James JobberSeniorEuroCyclingTrips
32101 Edward MorganU23Wales Racing Academy
33106 Thomas ArmstrongSeniorWheelbase CabTech Castelli
3455 David HirdU23ROKiT-SRCT
3560 Tom WilliamsU23ROKiT-SRCT
3646 Samuel AskerU23Richardsons Trek DAS
3740 Jordan GilesSeniorPrimera-TeamJobs
3816 James HartleyU23Cycling Sheffield
39135 Oliver HurdleSeniorStolenGoat Race Team
4021 George WoodU23Cycling Sheffield
4178 Jacques CoatesU23Team PB Performance
42142 Oscar HutchingsSeniorTeam Tor 2000 Kalas
4327 Damien ClaytonSeniorEmbark Spirit BSS
4428 Dan GardnerSeniorEmbark Spirit BSS
45102 Matthew FoxU23Wheelbase CabTech Castelli
4686 Joe HoltSeniorTEKKERZ CC
4742 Nicholas TyrieSeniorPrimera-TeamJobs
4876 Harry MacfarlaneSeniorTAAP Endura
4922 James WordsworthU23Cycling Sheffield
DNS1 Luke LampertiU23Trinity Racing Team
DNS17 James HawkinsU23Cycling Sheffield
DNS2 Robert DonaldsonU23Trinity Racing Team

National Road Series standings

Women’s

Individual

RankNameTeamPoints
1Monica GreenwoodDAS – Handsling Bikes86
2Robyn Clay (U23)Pro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee84
3Sammie StuartDAS – Handsling Bikes68
4Charlotte Hodgkins-ByrneTeam Boompods63
5Mary WilkinsonTeam Boompods59
6Bexy DewPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee50
7Jessica FinneyAWOL OShea50
8Flora Perkins (U23)Fenix-Deceuninck Development Team46
9Grace Lister (U23)DAS – Handsling Bikes44
10Jo TindleyPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee44
11Eline SmitLAKA Pedal Mafia RT43
12Heather MayerHutchinson – Brother UK42
13Sian BotteleyHutchinson – Brother UK42
14Cat Ferguson (JNR)Shibden Hope Tech Apex40
15Tamsin MillerHutchinson – Brother UK40
16Corinne SidePro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee39
17Emma Jeffers (U23)DAS – Handsling Bikes39
18Ellen McDermottTeam Boompods36
19Tiffany KeepHutchinson – Brother UK36
20Eilidh Shaw (U23)Alba Development Road Team36
21Sophie EneverAlba Development Road Team34
22Imogen Wolff (JNR)Shibden Hope Tech Apex34
23Josie KnightTeam Spectra Cannondale32
24Danielle KhanSaint Piran WRT30
25Isabel DarvillTeam Spectra Cannondale30
26Ella Maclean-Howell (U23)Team Inspired28
27Amy GornallPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee27
28Francesca HallLoughborough Lightning27
29Jessie CarridgeHutchinson – Brother UK27
30Danielle ShrosbreeDAS – Handsling Bikes26
31Alice SharpeIsrael – Premier Tech Development26
32Lucy Ellmore (U23)Pro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee25
33Awen Roberts (JNR)Liv Cycling Club – Halo Films24
34Ella Barnwell (U23)Saint Piran WRT24
35Zoe LanghamPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee23
36April TaceyLifeplus – Wahoo22
37Georgina Oakley21
38Holly Ramsey (JNR)Tofauti Everyone Active20
39Francesca Morgans-SladerAWOL OShea20
40Beth Harley-JepsonJadan Vive le Velo Glasdon19
41Amelia Cebak (JNR)Tofauti Everyone Active19
42Skye DavidsonJadan Vive le Velo Glasdon18
43Katy HillLDN-Academy17
44Lotty Dawson (JNR)Brother UK – Orientation Marketing16
45Madelaine Leech (U23)Lifeplus – Wahoo15
46Lydia WattsHutchinson – Brother UK14
47Sian MarshTeam Boompods14
48Kim BaptistaAyr Roads Cycling Club13
49Sannah Zaman (U23)Hutchinson – Brother UK13
50Esther Wong (JNR)Shibden Hope Tech Apex13
51Amelia Tyler (U23)Alba Development Road Team12
52Ruth ShierHutchinson – Brother UK11
53Katie Scott (U23)DAS – Handsling Bikes11
54Kelly MurphyAWOL OShea10
55Erin Avill (U23)Storey Racing9
56Annabel Ramsay (U23)RFDA7
57Nicola GreenwoodRFDA6
58Millie SkinnerPro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee6
59Gemma MitchellTeam Boompods6
60Amber HardingLoughborough Lightning5
61Keri PartonTeam Boompods4
62Annamarie LippSaint Piran WRT2
63Lucy Neatham (U23)LDN-Academy2
64Olivia FrenchStolenGoat Race Team1

Team

RankTeam NamePoints
1DAS – Handsling Bikes240
2Pro-Noctis – Heidi Kjeldsen – 200 Degrees Coffee212
3Hutchinson – Brother UK200
4Team Boompods164
5Shibden Hope Tech Apex87
6Alba Development Road Team82
7AWOL OShea80
8Saint Piran WRT56
9Team Spectra Cannondale44
10LAKA Pedal Mafia RT43
11Tofauti Everyone Active39
12Jadan Vive le Velo Glasdon37
13Loughborough Lightning32
14Liv Cycling Club – Halo Films24
15LDN-Academy19
16Brother UK – Orientation Marketing16

Men’s

Individual

To follow.

Team

To follow.