Womens Lincoln Grand Prix 2018

Despite the OVO Energy Tour Series having started only a few days earlier on the 10th May, the team were off to debut in yet another elite race the following Sunday. The Women’s Lincoln Grand Prix  2018, part of the HSBC UK National Women’s Road Series, once again set the benchmark for the 2018 HSBC UK Women’s Road Series by providing an equal prize list to the Men’s Lincoln Grand Prix. This gruelling race featured 8 laps of the course, covering 63 miles, and more importantly 8 climbs of the infamous Michaelgate climb!

Michaelgate - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Michaelgate – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)

The climb is 0.1 miles long, with an average gradient of 11% but maxing out at 20%. And of course, it’s on cobbles. To quote https://cyclinguphill.com/100-climbs/michaelgate/, “The real test of Michaelgate is when it is ridden several times during a (multi-mile) road race. It is one thing to blast up the cobbles once, but the repeated visits up the climb invariably split the race apart.” Thankfully the rain that fell on Michaelgate the night before had all dried up by race time, giving once less obstacle to contend with,

A wet Michaelgate the night before - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Scale)
A wet Michaelgate the night before – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Scale)

 

Admiral Liv AWOL fielded a team of 5 riders; Emily Bridson, Zoe Brookes, Hannah Graveney, Elizabeth Marvelly and Clover Murray. Amongst a sea of white and red, the purple helmets of the team stood out on the start line.

Start line helmets - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Start line helmets – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)

As Pip Brookes (Zoe’s father) said in his tweet “Wow!! Lincoln GP, super fast and super tough.”

Zoe Brookes on Michaelgate - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Zoe Brookes on Michaelgate – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Hannah Graveney being stalked up the hill - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Hannah Graveney being stalked up the hill – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Elizabeth Marvelly - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: Pip Brookes)
Elizabeth Marvelly – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: Pip Brookes)

Pip also tweeted “Great effort from Elizabeth Marvelly in the peloton for so long.”

Clover Murray - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Clover Murray – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)

Bad sadly it was an unlucky day for Clover Murray due to a puncture.

Zoe Brookes on Michaelgate - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Zoe Brookes on Michaelgate – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)

And again from Pip “Not a long race for Zoe Brookes, but not through lack of effort. Multiple best heart rate stats today, so giving it everything” Just look at the gradient evident in the photo above!

Emily Bridson - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Emily Bridson – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)

 

Cycle Warriors gathering on steep climbs - Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)
Cycle Warriors gathering on steep climbs – Lincoln GP 2018 (photo: John Orbea)

Sadly, the race ended early for all 5 riders but they still provided a photo opportunity for John Orbea by gathering menacingly on the Michaelgate climb!

Final words from Pat Hayes DS, “Baptism of fire for the juniors in their first Lincoln Grand Prix though all showed huge commitment with a particularly gutsy ride from  Elizabeth Marvelly  Terrible luck continued for U23 Clover Murray with a puncture at just the wrong time.”

Featured photo by John Orbea.

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