This Weekend: Giro Del Mon

Final preparations are underway for the first three-day elite cycling race through the Shropshire countryside this weekend – Giro Del Mon 

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This Weekend: Giro Del Mon

Final preparations are underway for the first three-day elite cycling race through the Shropshire countryside this weekend. Organisers are expecting hundreds of spectators to watch the Giro Del Mon, which will take place from May 26-28.

One of the highlights of the event will be a day of racing at RAF Shawbury to celebrate the RAF’s 100 year anniversary. Live updates will be available on the Giro Del Mon Facebook page and results and photos will be published on the event website at The event is hosted by Shrewsbury based Rhino Velo Race Team and run by Chris Pook of Estate Agents Cooper Green Pooks and Ben Lawrence, of Beaumont Lawrence Chartered Insurance Brokers.
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Mr Pook, who is also taking part in the race, said: “We have worked hard to organise a high quality stage race that should produce a very worthy winner at the end.  “Not only is there a mix of terrain for the cyclists with plenty of scope for riders with different attributes to have a chance to shine but it will be a fantastic event for spectators. We really hope to see lots of people out and about, cheering the riders on.”

Two separate races will be taking place over the weekend. The flagship event is the Giro Del Mon, supported by Pro Vision Clothing. This is classed as a National B event and is open to 20 teams of four riders who have either Elite, 1st, 2nd or 3rd Category on their licence.  There is a total of £2,700 in prize money up for grabs in the Elite race.
“This event comprises five stages over May 26, 27 and 28 and we are welcoming teams from Scotland, Wales and various corners of England to what should be a fiercely contested race,” said Mr Pook.

The second event is the Giro Del Mon Support Race, which is open to individual riders with either 3rd or 4th category on their licence. The event is a Regional B event and held over three stages on May 26 and 27.  “It is designed to give riders a taste of stage racing and hopefully inspire them as they make their way up the categories,” said Mr Pook.
Mr Pook said it was an honour to mark the RAF 100 anniversary during the race.

He said: “To be able to ride on a closed airfield is a real privilege and one that we are unlikely to have the opportunity to do again.

“I must stress to all our riders that they must bring photographic ID with them or they will not be admitted to RAF Shawbury. “Spectators hoping to watch must also bring photographic ID. It will be a really special occasion.”

On the Saturday, riders will ‘sign on’ at Minsterley Parish Hall from 8am.  The Elite event will begin at 9.30am with a Team Time Trial up Hope Valley, followed in the afternoon at 2pm with a road race in the Minsterley, Westbury and Worthen area.  The support race will begin at 11.15am and follow the same route as the Elite road stage.

On the Sunday, riders will be at RAF Shawbury from 8am with an Individual Time Trial for both the Elite race and the Support race involving a lap of the airfield. Following that, there will be two separate ‘Kermesse’ races, a punchy style of racing popular on the flat and windy terrain in Belgium. The Support race will go first at Midday followed by the Elite race at 1pm.
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On Bank Holiday Monday, riders will return to Minsterley Parish Hall from 8.30am for the final stage of the Elite race. Starting at 10am, it will take in four laps of a 20 mile course around (and over) the Stiperstones with the finish line located at the top of the Stiperstones (as ascended from Bridges). Rhino Velo Racing will enter two teams of four riders in the event, sponsored by Cooper Green Pooks, Beaumont Lawrence, Pro Vision, Turners Ltd and Doppio Protection, with the aim of winning both stages and hopefully the overall.

One team will be made up of Matthew Davies, of Minsterley, Chris Pook, of Shrewsbury, Barrie Pugh, of Hanwood, and Graham South, of Leegomery, Telford. The other will be Matthew Garthwaite, of Newport, Oliver Hayward, of Ludlow, Liam Holohan, of Shrewsbury, and Kirk Vickers, of Oswestry. Tom Pook, of Shrewsbury, will be riding for Rhino Velo in the support race.

Mr Lawrence, who will be supporting the riders during the event, said: “We wish all the teams well in the race. It’s going to be a challenging three days of racing and something that is new and exciting for Shropshire.”

Timings are as follows:

Saturday 26th:
Minsterley Parish Hall (HQ open from 8am))
National B – Stage 1 (Team Time Trial) – 9.30
National B – Stage 2 (Road Race) – 2pm
Regional B – Stage 1 (Road Race) – 11.15am

Sunday 27th:
RAF Shawbury (HQ open from 8.00am – I will need to know names/car regs in advance to register with the base)
National B – Stage 3 (Individual Time Trial) – 10.00
National B – Stage 4 (Kermesse) – 1pm
Regional B – Stage 2 (ITT) -9am
Regional B – Stage 3 (Kermesse) – Midday

Monday 28th:
Minsterley Parish Hall (HQ open from 8.30am)
National B – Stage 5 (Road Race) – 10am (4 laps of the Stiperstones course as used in last August’s Regional Champs)



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