New Cycling Team in Shropshire


A new cycling racing team set up in Shropshire is already seeing top results

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New Cycling Team in Shropshire
Team Press Release

A new cycling racing team set up in Shropshire is already seeing top results after one of its riders beat a professional cyclist to come first in a Stage Race in the French Alps.

Minsterley based farmer Matthew Davies, of Rhino Velo Racing, won The Alpine Challenge, based out of Annecy. The four-stage endurance road event saw riders tackle 330 km over three days with nearly 7,000 metres of climbing.

Matt Davies (in the Red leaders jersey) chasing down Team Dimension Data Pro Nic Dlamini

Shrewsbury-based estate agent Chris Pook, also of Rhino Velo Racing, which is made up of amateur riders from across Shropshire, took third place.

Sandwiched in the middle was Nicholas Dlamini, a professional rider for Team Dimension Data’s Continental outfit. Mr Davies, 33, put in a very strong performance to beat Dlamini on three of the four stages and took the overall victory. It is the first time Mr Davies has taken part in the race.
He said: “It was fun to race in the mountains with a rider of Nic’s calibre.”

“Nic is scheduled to race the U23 version of the Tour de France called the ‘Tour de l’Avenir’ later this year so it will be interesting to see how he goes in that. It is satisfying to know that I have reached a good level prior to taking on my next big challenge as I try to improve year on year.”

Mr Davies, who is a serial winner of Shropshire-based time trials, recently joined Rhino Velo, a team mentored by legendary local cyclist Mike Jones. He said: “There is great camaraderie amongst the teammates and we encourage each other to do the best we can in whatever challenge we take on.”

Mr Davies then took on two further challenges in the Alps – the Race Across The Alps followed by La Marmotte.  The former involves racing non-stop over 11 mountains, 533km and 13,700 metres of climbing in the Austrian, Swiss and Italian Alps. Matthew, ended up finishing as the fastest ever British Rider – a truly remarkable achievement.

In La Marmotte, Matthew finished 20th overall and was the first British rider out of a field of 7,500 competitors. This was despite still feeling fatigued from his efforts a week earlier.

Mr Pook, 33, returns to road racing in the UK with a series of National B events lined up during July and August, plus a trip to Belgium to take part in a couple of Kermesses.

His season culminates in the West Midlands Divisional Championships in Bridgnorth on September 11, followed hopefully by a week of racing abroad in October at the Majorca Masters with fellow team members.

He said: “Climbing big mountains isn’t really my natural forte as I’m 6ft 4” and my body would much prefer to be 75-80kg, rather than the 72-73kg that I squeeze down too. “With hard work, the right training and support from my coach, Liam Holohan, I’ve managed to improve a fair amount over the past 18 months and now give a fairly good account of myself in local road races and indeed when climbing mountains!”

Ben Lawrence, managing director of Shropshire insurance broker Beaumont Lawrence, and Mr Pook, of Shrewsbury based estate agents Cooper Green Pooks, are managing and sponsoring Rhino Velo Racing.


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Mr Lawrence, a keen fan of all things cycling, said the medium term aim is to create an environment that mentors young, talented road racers who can use Rhino Velo Racing as a stepping stone in their cycling career. It will also be a platform for talented amateur racers who take their cycling seriously yet hold down full time jobs and a family life but still manage to race at a high level.

He said: “We are keen on promoting cycle racing while supporting future generations of racers and giving something back to the local cycling community.

“This is an exciting opportunity for talented amateur riders in the Shropshire area and we want to continue building on the strong impact made by the team on the West Midlands region in 2016.
“Beaumont Lawrence and Cooper Green Pooks were delighted to get the opportunity to sponsor the team and both wish all the riders success for the remainder of the season.”



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