A SHROPSHIRE cycling team are setting themselves the challenge of completing an 800km ride in just seven days.

Rhino Velo Race Team will take on the original event of the Haute Route multi-day series, cycling 800km and climbing more than 20,000 metres through the French Alps from Megeve to Nice.

The team will be made up of former pro cyclist Liam Holohan, 30, of Shrewsbury, Matthew Davies, 35, of Minsterley, and Shrewsbury brothers Chris Pook, 35, and Tom Pook, 30,

They will compete against hundreds of cyclists from across the globe to try and record the shortest overall time over the seven stages.

The event is the eighth edition of the Haute Route Alps, and is taking place between August 26 and September 1.

It features some of the world’s most renowned cycling routes and climbs, often finishing in some of France’s most famous ski resorts.

The group recently spent a week training at altitude in France to prepare them for the demands of the event.

The team is run by Shropshire-based businessmen Chris Pook and Ben Lawrence.

Mr Chris Pook said: “The whole team is feeling very strong right now and we are looking forward to realising the events of many months of training.

“This is a major multi day cycling event for amateurs and I’m excited to take on this challenge.

“It will certainly be great to get to Nice and jump in the sea.

“We will definitely be looking forward to a couple of days rest by the Mediterranean by then.

“This really is an event to test and challenge us. It is extremely arduous and tough on the body and we have prepared as well as we can, largely by climbing just about every hill that South Shropshire and Mid Wales has to offer.”

Mr Lawrence added: “The team performed brilliantly during the Etape du Tour and I expect to see great success from them in the Haute Route.

“Last year Matt Davies finished second overall and Chris Pook seventh overall in the Haute Route Rockies, but we think we can go one better this year.”