OSWESTRY'S Kirk Vickers enjoyed some success at the inaugural Giro Del Mon, a three-day cycling race in the Shropshire countryside which attracted competitors from all over the United Kingdom.

The event took place over the bank holiday weekend and organisers received dozens of messages of support from riders and spectators asking for it to return next year.

One of the highlights of the event was a day of racing at RAF Shawbury to celebrate the RAF’s 100-year anniversary.

The event was hosted by Shrewsbury based Rhino Velo Race Team and organised by Chris Pook of Estate Agents Cooper Green Pooks and Ben Lawrence, of Beaumont Lawrence Chartered Insurance Brokers.

The overall elite event was won by Louis Szymanski, 26, from Manchester, riding for Giant Sheffield, while the support event was won by Sam Marshall, 21, from Cheshire, riding for Frodsham Wheelers.

Pook, who also took part in the Elite race, said: “We were really pleased by the high-quality racing and delighted the overall result for both events was decided on the final stage and saw only a handful of seconds separate the podium positions.

“It really validates the process we went through in trying to design a stage race that remained exciting until the very end.

“Although both very tired, we are not put off the idea of organising the event again.”

The flagship event was the Giro Del Mon, supported by Pro Vision Clothing. This was classed as a National B event and was open to 20 teams of four riders with either elite, first, second or third category on their licence.

Teams took part from Scotland, Wales and various corners of England.

The second event was the Giro Del Mon Support Race, which was open to individual riders with either third or fourth category on their licence. The event was a Regional B event and was held over three stages.

Saturday’s racing began with a Team Time Trial for the Elite race up Hope Valley just outside Minsterley. It was won by Assos Team Wales, which included reigning National Hill Climb Champion Dan Evans, who completed the 6.63km in 11min 19sec. Only seven seconds covered the top four teams, which included Shrewsbury’s Rhino Velo Race Team.

In the afternoon there was a road race in the Minsterley and Worthern area, which was won solo by Louis Szymanski, of Cycling Sheffield Giant Sheffield, in 2hr 27min 21sec, just ahead of a fast-moving peloton that included Chris Pook, of Rhino Velo Race Team, who took seventh place on the stage.

On Sunday, the event moved to RAF Shawbury. Riders faced an individual time trial around the airfield perimeter road. This was won by Alex Dalton, of Wheelbase Castelli MGD, who completed the 4.92km distance in 6min 11sec.

Kirk Vickers, riding for Rhino Velo, finished third in the time trial, in 6min 27sec.

In the afternoon, the Elite riders faced a 70km Kermesse on a 10km pan flat course laid out across the airfield. Matt Clarke of Halesowen A & CC won the stage solo just ahead of his team-mate Charles Walker in 1hr 34min 48sec.

Rhino Velo Race Team’s Matthew Garthwaite and Vickers were fourth and fifth respectively.

Pook said the race organising was not without its difficulties. “After Saturday night’s storms, there was concern that sections of the final stage would be impassable," he said.

"However, there was a huge effort from a small team of volunteers, who went out sweeping the roads at 6am to ensure gravel and silt on the roads wouldn’t prove a danger to riders.”

The final stage set off from Minsterley Parish Hall on Monday and, after four gruelling ascents of the Stiperstones and 80 miles, it was won by Shrewsbury rider Liam Holohan, of Rhino Velo Race team, who crossed the line in just under three hours, ahead of Cameron Biddle from Halesowen Cycling Club.

It was not enough to unseat Louis Szymanski, who crossed in fifth place and finished 14 seconds ahead of Liam, who was third overall, and 11 seconds ahead of his Cycling Sheffield Giant Sheffield teammate Kieran Savage, who was second overall and also won the under-23 and KOM competition.

In stage one of Saturday’s Support Race, Sam Beeston of Pro Vision Race Team was first, cycling 78km in 1hr 54min 18sec.

The individual time trial on stage at RAF Shawbury was won by Samuel Blackbourn of Paramount CRT while Sam Marshall of Frodsham Wheelers/Twelve50 Bikes won stage three’s Kermesse, covering 40km in 58min 46sec and with it taking the overall win.

Pook said it was a privilege to race at RAF Shawbury. “It makes for a completely different style of racing as the wind, no matter how light, always plays a part when racing on a pan flat exposed airfield," he said.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for riders to hone their echelon skills in a very safe environment. Hopefully, we will be able to return in future, as the rider feedback was very positive about the whole day at Shawbury.’’

For more information about the Giro Del Mon, see www.girodelmon.co.uk