Article originally published by Rapha on 21.11.20
After a year to forget for British domestic racing, we look forward to the 2021 Lincoln Grand Prix and unveil a special edition cap we hope will help the race return.
Despite being one of the most prestigious races on the British calendar, the Lincoln Grand Prix was facing an uncertain future earlier this year. After shifts within the organising team and the departure of a major sponsor, the race was on the rocks. That was until Rapha announced title sponsorship of the race, committing to ensure the race would continue. But just when things were looking up for the Lincoln, the world was hit by a global pandemic.
Just like many other races normally held in the spring, the 2020 Lincoln Grand Prix was cancelled, breaking a run of 64 consecutive editions. But hope remains for next year’s race. With a date for the event already fixed in next season’s calendar, we spoke to the race organiser, British racing scene insiders and teams to find out what the prospect of racing Britain’s most prestigious race again means to them.
To support the 2021 Lincoln Grand Prix, we’re also working on limited edition products, the profit from which will go directly to the race. The first piece in the collection is this limited edition Lincoln Grand Prix Cap, inspired by the race’s history and available now. To help secure the future of a British cycling institution, get yours now.
“We’ve lost many of our Classics here in the UK. The Lincoln GP is arguably the last remaining Classic. We also had British Cycling deciding to stop funding TV coverage of the international road series without giving any notice to any of the teams, so the British racing scene has really lurched from crisis to crisis over the last couple of years. It was a massive boost for the scene when Rapha stepped in to save the Lincoln. Obviously no one knows what’s going to happen next year, but in the UK, the season starts later than the European season, so we’ve got longer to get things sorted which gives me hope.”
– Denny Gray, The British Continental
“I’ve been in cycling for thirty years, and I’ve probably worked on around twenty-five to thirty Lincoln GP races. When you look back at the race’s winners list, it’s a who’s who of the best British professionals. It was heartbreaking to cancel the event in 2020 but our date for next season – the second weekend in May as it has been for years – is already in the calendar. To ride into a town centre absolutely packed with people is what the Lincoln is all about. There are many cyclists who come to watch the race, but there are plenty of others who come just to be part of the fantastic atmosphere. We hope that can continue next year.”
– Dan Ellmore, Lincoln GP organiser
“The British racing scene is a key rung on the ladder for so many amazing riders. It’s sad when any race folds, but the potential demise of the Lincoln was especially sad since it’s been won by so many amazing women over the years. What Rapha did, stepping in to make sure the race continued, was amazing. The Lincoln Grand Prix is a fantastically run event and it would be great to see it happen next year.”
– Fran Cutts, Team LDN rider
“Seeing the calendar dry up this year, honestly, was depressing. Inevitable, but still. The hardest thing was seeing our riders training but not being able to race. Keeping that motivation going was hard, to keep fit, to keep training, because you didn’t know if racing would start in a week or in a month. We’ve lost a lot of brilliant historical racing here in the UK over the last twenty years, and the Lincoln is the one race that remains which has that history. This is one that’s survived and it’s important to keep that going. It’s become iconic. It’s the most important historic race on the British calendar.”
– Andy Lyons, manager of Richardsons-Trek
LINCOLN GP CAP
Help support the 2021 Lincoln Grand Prix with this special edition cotton cap. Inspired by the race’s history, the cap has been created to secure its future, with all profits going directly to the race organisation.
Available now in the UK.