A new cycling team set up in Shropshire is celebrating a successful first season after its members reached top positions in four different disciplines across the country.
Rhino Velo Racing, a team mentored by well-known Shrewsbury cyclist Mike Jones, is climbing high in a number of cycling league tables.
Team member Matt Davies celebrated a double victory recently.
On Saturday, September 18 he was in action in the first of three 10 mile time trials, hosted by the Shropshire Cycling Clubs Association, when he powered to victory two minutes ahead of his nearest competition.
He also raced the prestigious Cat and Fiddle Hill Climb, one of the longest climbs in England, averaging 3.2 per cent over 10km in Macclesfield.
Mr Davies, 33, of Minsterley, came fourth against some strong competition, completing the climb in under 20 minutes, only 41 seconds down on 3 time winner and Elite cyclist, Adam Kenway.
One of the team’s managers and sponsors Chris Pook, of Shrewsbury-based estate agents Cooper Green Pooks, said Mr Davies was enjoying an excellent season, having previously won The Alpine Challenge, based out of Annecy.
He said: “The Cat and Fiddle Hill Climb is a tough race and Matt did fantastically against a strong field, especially considering his top result the day before at the SCCA time trial.
“Matt is really making a name for himself in the amateur cycling scene, particularly in Time Trials and tough mountainous endurance events; we are proud to have him in the Rhino Velo team.”
Mr Pook himself saw success when he took part in the Leicester Forest Regional road race in Lutterworth. He came in eighth place in the 120km race.
He said: “The race was on laps of a 10km long rolling course but wasn’t selective enough so it meant all the moves were eventually brought back, leaving it to a bunch sprint.
“It was a fairly fast, positive race and I was pleased to pick up eighth position. It is also good for our team to be represented in races in other parts of the country and get our name out there.”
Rhino Velo team member Matthew Garthwaite, 30, took eighth place and fourth in his age category in round three of the West Midlands Cyclo Cross League held on the Liveridge Course at Henley-in-Arden. He now leads the senior competition by 11 points.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Matthew,” said Mr Pook. “We wish him all the best with the rest of the Cyclo-Cross season.”
Rhino Velo is also sponsored and managed by Ben Lawrence, managing director of Shropshire insurance broker Beaumont Lawrence.
He said: “We are really proud of how far Rhino Velo has come in its first season. The fact that we have such a diverse team was exemplified this weekend by the fact that three of our riders took on four disciplines in just one weekend and each achieved tremendous success.
“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.”
For more information about Rhino Velo, see https://www.facebook.com/Rhino-Velo-Racing-1694907564097320/