A Shropshire cyclist has ridden to success and been crowned national champion in his age category at the National Masters Road Race Championship.
Former UCI professional Liam Holohan, who rides for Holohan Coaching Race Team, which he also mentors and coaches the team, managed to take the top podium spot and is now the national road race champion for 30-34 year olds.
Chris Pook, of Shrewsbury-based estate agents Cooper Green Pooks, came ninth in the 35-39 year old category in the race, which was held on a hilly course near Oakenclough, Lancashire on the 10th August 2019.
“It was a very grim day,” he said. “The weather was atrocious and it rained throughout and hail even began to fall at one point. That coupled with the wind, and rolling course, meant it was very tough and Liam did brilliantly to win his category; the whole team is very proud of him.”
Mr Pook, who also manages and sponsors the team with Ben Lawrence, of independent chartered insurance brokers Beaumont Lawrence, said the race will hopefully inspire the rest of Holohan Coaching Race Team, which regularly achieves top results in amateur races across the West Midlands and sometimes further afield.
He said: “Liam has fantastic pedigree but even though he is retired from the pro ranks he doesn’t rest on his laurels and still shows excellent dedication and commitment to staying fit, which has earned him a championship title.’’
“He is also a fantastic coach and team motivator and his success will hopefully encourage other local cyclists and inspire those that he coaches.”
Liam, who runs Holohan Coaching in Shrewsbury, said it was a tough course and grim weather, but having grown up in Yorkshire he was used to the conditions and just got his head down and followed the moves on the hardest parts of the course, knowing that the steep climb to the finish would favour him.
He said: “I was delighted to win my age category and being national masters champion for the next year is an honour.”
Holohan Coaching Race Team’s next challenge is the Vuelta Majorca Masters in mid October, followed hopefully by a tilt at the team classification at the National Hill Climb Championship.