The Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team headed to Lincolnshire for the first round of the National Road Series to take on the demanding Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix, one of the UK’s most-cherished one-day races regarded by racers and spectators alike as a true British classic.
Young Scot Matti Dobbins was in action again representing Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli.
Wheelbase sent a young team, looking to gain valuable racing experience within one of the hardest road races on the calendar with Logan Maclean, Callum Thornley, Matti Dobbins and Matt Fox in attendance and ready to race as a cohesive team. In the team car we had former Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team racer Alex Turner behind the wheel, providing valuable tactical guidance and support by calling on his valuable racing experience. Tyla Loftus stepped in with mechanical support at what can be a puncture-heavy race thanks to the infamous cobbled stretches of the Lincoln GP; meanwhile Ryan was helping out as team Soigneur, handing out bottles and making sure each rider had everything they needed to perform.
There was no soft-pedalling at the Lincoln GP, racing was full-on from the start.
Preparation is key and with this young team lacking some experience of racing the biggest races in the UK they used the day before the race as an opportunity to pre-ride the circuit to really get their heads around the course and to get a better understanding of where they should position themselves as well as mastering their gear selection for the steep, cobbled climb of Michaelgate.
It wasn’t Callum’s day, but he’s already showed a real talent for racing this season and is looking forward to the upcoming Stockton GP.
Come race day and the action came thick and fast from the gun; Logan Maclean and Matt Fox managed to position themselves at the front of the bunch before the first ascent of the infamously steep and cobbled climb of Michaelgate; Logan crested the climb at the head of the stretched out group of cyclists with Matt in around 10th position. The mood in the peloton was tense with the constant risk off crashes coming from such close racing on a really technical circuit. In one particularly sketchy moment Logan ended up in a power slide on the curb as he tried to avoid a crash in front of him just before the feed zone; this pushed Logan’s heartrate even higher as he attempted to keep pace within the action.
Young racer Logan Maclean continues to ride strongly while gaining valuable racing experience.
Crowds were immense with our rider’s ears ringing each time the team tackled the cobbled climb and the great weather meant that the Lincoln GP was a fantastic day out for spectators. Feedback from the lads after the race highlighted that the hardest part of the race was each time the bunch crested the main climb with some of the bigger teams doing everything they could to split the bunch to pieces. As the racing progressed Matti Dobbins and Callum Thornley got caught out on this most selective part of the course; Matti lost contact at around 120km into the race and Callum popped too after a fantastic racing effort.
Logan and Matt rode well together to stay at the sharp end of the race.
Meanwhile our Aussie recruit Matt Fox was revelling in this atrocious race, constantly fighting for position at the front with little or no fear for the level of racing he was taking on. Reflecting the effort required to even be at the front of the race it’s worth noting that Logan’s max speed approaching the Michaelgate climb was 75kmph; the tenacious young Scotsman didn’t have the best legs on the day but did manage to chase back onto the bunch after missing the split at the top of the climb to go into the last lap securely positioned in the bunch.
Callum Thornley is cheered up the cobbled Michaelgate climb.
As the race came to a close Luke Lamperti of the Trinity team took the win with Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli’s Logan Maclean taking a great 36th position over the line and Matt Fox showing true Aussie grit to take 59th place. At the post-race debrief Logan was initially downbeat, however, on reflection he could see that he had gained valuable racing experience and finished one of the UK’s most gruelling one-day road races in the national series. This was his first race with a length of over 100 miles this year and finishing only 1 minute and 29 seconds after the winner should be applauded.
Matt Fox continues to show true Aussie grit in every race he competes in.
Looking forward to the upcoming races, the Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli team can take what they learnt from the Lincoln GP into the Premier Calendar Stockton GP road race which should suit Callum as an accomplished sprinter and there’s plenty of hilly races ahead of them too which riders like Logan are already looking forward to. Well done to our lads on a great showing at Lincoln and special thanks to the team staff for diligently supporting our riders behind the scenes.
It’s clear to see how deep Logan had to go to finish in 36th place.
Written by Johnny Dodgin
Photos by Joe Cotterill
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