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Shropshire cyclist top in West Midlands League
07 Oct 2018
by Rebecca Dutton

Chris Pook winning the Phil Ward Memorial Road Race. Photo David Perry

A Shropshire business man has come first in the West Midlands Road Race League after a consistent 2018 season.

Chris Pook, of Estate Agents Cooper Green Pooks, Shrewsbury, races for Rhino Velo Race Team, which he runs with Ben Lawrence of Beaumont Lawrence Chartered Insurance Brokers.

Rhino Velo Race Team also came second overall in the league, just behind RST/Cycle Division Race Team, based in Burton on Trent.

Mr Pook competed in six of the seven races, which made up this year’s league.

His highlights were winning the Phil Ward Memorial Road Race, which took place near Shrewsbury on May 6, and he placed well in the majority of the other races he competed in.

Mr Pook said: “I’m pleased to win the league this year, having been beaten to the win in the final round of the 2017 season.

“I have been consistent for a couple of years now and it means that you are heavily marked when racing. This result is on the back of many hours of dedicated training, riding around 10-12 hours a week in all weather.

“It would not be possible without the support of my wife Heidi as we have two young children and yet she encourages me to pursue my passion and is regularly at the roadside herself, cheering me on.

“I am really proud of the team as a whole. We all had some great success this year, which is how we came second in the league overall.”

Oliver Haywood, of Ludlow, came 10th in the individual standings and won a round before going on to do very well in Elite National races.

Mr Lawrence, of Shrewsbury based independent insurer broker Beaumont Lawrence, said he was thrilled with the team’s individual successes as well as overall results.

He said: “Rhino Velo Race Team definitely took a step up this year.

“Not only did the team do fantastically in the West Midlands Road Race League but also took part in a range of events across the UK & Europe.

“They travelled to the Republic of Ireland to take part in the four day ‘Ras Mumhan’ stage race, to Northern Ireland to race the ‘Tour of Ulster’, to Italy to take part in the Giro Sardegna six day stage race and to France, where they did the Etape du Tour and most recently the Haute Route Alps’’

Mr Lawrence said the team also successfully organised the Giro Del Mon in Shrewsbury for the first time.

The three day event was made up of five stages and included a day of racing at RAF Shawbury to celebrate the RAF’s 100 year anniversary.

He said: “With coaching from former professional Liam Holohan, Rhino Velo Race Team has achieved some great results in 2018.

“There’s been ups and downs, of course, but the team has all worked together and enjoyed taking on new challenges. We are all extremely proud of Chris for coming first in the West Midlands league.”

The Rhino Velo Race Team is sponsored in 2018 by Cooper Green Pooks, Doppio Protection, Beaumont Lawrence and Holohan Coaching.