Microalloying additions are critical for grain size control during thermo-mechanical processing. The addition of niobium is known to delay the onset and growth of recrystallization. A physically-based model for the interaction of strain-induced precipitation, recovery and recrystallization is presented. A key feature of the model is the incorporation of the effect of precipitation on the nucleation of recrystallization. Quantitative agreement between the experimental measurements and the model predictions has also been demonstrated. The model offers valuable insight into the relative contributions of solute and precipitate Nb as well as the optimum conditions for strain accumulation.