Professional cyclist to expand business after helping amateurs get top results

A Shrewsbury based former professional cyclist is now offering fully supported bespoke cycling trips alongside his already successful coaching business.

Liam Holohan training hard for the Haute Route Alps
Liam Holohan training hard for the Haute Route Alps

Liam Holohan, a former UCI professional, who rode for UCI teams ‘Team Wiggins’, ‘Rapha Condor’ and ‘Madison Genesis’, already runs his own coaching business called Holohan Coaching in Shrewsbury.

He has a wide range of clients from World Tour professionals to those just discovering the sport and looking to improve their fitness and in some cases their race performance.

The 31-year-old has now expanded into the cycling holiday and events market after receiving a number of requests to run tailored trips to various European destinations throughout 2018 and being buoyed by the positive feedback.

Liam said: “I’ve had great success with a number of trips that I have run over the past couple of years, whether it be to major Gran Fondo events like the Etape Du Tour or stage races like the Vuelta Majorca.

“As a result of all the positive feedback, and demand for more pro-level supported events and training experiences, I will be hosting several events in the UK and Europe in 2019.

“The idea is to give amateur riders the depth of support that I received as a professional.

“This would include everything from tailor-made nutrition, all prepared in house, through to massage and on the road support, just like the pros,” he said.

Liam, who lives with his wife and son, two, originally studied engineering before becoming a professional cyclist.

He said: “Understanding how the body works and responds to training really appealed to my inquisitive mind.

“I undertook several coaching awards while I was still racing and combined that knowledge with what I had learned from a career working with some of the best coaches and nutritionist in the business.

“This made it a natural transition to becoming a coach when I retired from racing.”

For the last year, Liam has been involved with coaching Rhino Velo Race Team, a cycling team based in Shrewsbury, which has achieved top results in many high-ranking amateur races.

He works with Chris Pook, of Estate Agents Cooper Green Pooks, who also sponsors the team, with Doppio Protection, Beaumont Lawrence and Holohan Coaching.

He said: “When Chris first came to me he was struggling to stay healthy and injury free, and couldn’t compete at the sharp end of races.

“After working with me, he not only finishes those races, but he has won a number of them and went on to have international success too. He now enjoys riding so much more and stays healthy and injury free.”

Mr Pook said: “Liam has been invaluable in understanding the type of training and nutrition required to improve my race performance. Through carefully designed, structured, training and with a lot of hard work, I have been able to realise some of my potential in races; hopefully there is more to come!

“Racing is so nuanced and you finally start to understand why some refer to it as ‘chess on wheels’. With Liam’s guiding hand, I have had a very successful couple of seasons in 2017 and 2018 which has been very motivating in other areas of my life too.”

Mr Holohan said he wants more people to enjoy cycling and said Shropshire is the perfect county, with its rolling hills, to start taking the hobby further than just a ride to work.

He said: “Most of the athletes I work with are amateurs, and they get tremendous pleasure form the sport.

“I want to enhance that by making sure that they’re more physically capable and have a better understanding of how to structure their training and nutrition.”

Mr Holohan also takes his work into schools, as part of his British coaching award.

He said: “I think it’s so important to encourage younger generations to get into the sport.

“It’s a great way to keep fit. You don’t need to take it to professional level as there are so many fantastic amateur events out there. Cycling fits in well with the daily work routine- you just need your bike and you can get out there.”

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