A SHROPSHIRE-based cycling team is looking to achieve its goal of becoming the top amateur racing team in the West Midlands.

Holohan Coaching Race Team, which is mentored and coached by former Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) professional Liam Holohan, has already had some excellent wins this season.

The team is sponsored by Shrewsbury-based estate agents Cooper Green Pooks, independent chartered insurance brokers Beaumont Lawrence, and Unvented Components Europe, a Chirk-based heating and plumbing spare parts supply business.

Formerly known as Rhino Velo Race Team, its competitors now race in both the West Midlands Road Race League and select events further afield.

This season, the team has brought in a couple of strong new riders including Chris Childs from Bridgnorth.

Team stalwart Chris Pook won the first round of the West Midlands Road Race League at Aston on Clun, near Ludlow.

Chris Childs then won the second round of the league ‘The Phil Ward Memorial Road Race’ at Leighton near Telford and followed this up with a third place at round three of the Halesowen Road Race, while new teammate Danny Smith took fifth and Chris Pook took 15th.

Chris Pook praised the new additions to the team.

He said: “It was great to see Chris Childs follow up a great win with another podium spot.

“Cycling is a tough sport and even at the amateur level, the racing is flat out and if you don’t train properly and take a very disciplined approach, you simply won’t be competitive.

“Chris has really embraced Liam’s training plan and has really impressed us with his attitude and work ethic – it is now showing in his results and we are sure he will continue to have a fine season.

“Danny is a solid guy and very strong. We think he is on the cusp of starting to podium regularly in bike races as he is often there or thereabouts when it starts getting tough.

“I would definitely rather race with him than against him.”

Some of the team’s riders have had a slow start to the season for various reasons.

Kirk Vickers has been unable to travel to road races due to work commitments, Ollie Hayward is focusing on finishing university and Matt Davies has built up towards the season slowly after being injured in a crash at the end of last summer.

Chris Pook added: “[Matt] will no doubt start to hit his stride again in the second half of the year, particularly after completing the three-day Haute Route Dolomites with Tom and myself in mid-June, which should give his fitness a boost.”

For more information about the team, see their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/holohancoachingrt