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!
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,
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.
As Pip Brookes (Zoe’s father) said in his tweet “Wow!! Lincoln GP, super fast and super tough.”
Pip also tweeted “Great effort from Elizabeth Marvelly in the peloton for so long.”
Bad sadly it was an unlucky day for Clover Murray due to a puncture.
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!
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.