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Minsterley and RAF Shawbury cycle event proves a hit - with video

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A three-day cycling event came to a close yesterday, after gruelling road races and unique events held on an RAF base.

The Giro del Mon, in its inaugural year, brought 132 cyclists from across the UK to Shropshire for two multi-stage races.

Minsterley and RAF Shawbury both hosted sections of the five stage main event, as well as a three-stage 'support' event.

RAF Shawbury hosts cycle race

The event was pulled together by dedicated Shropshire cyclists Chris Pook and Ben Lawrence to fill in for the Shrewsbury Grand Prix, which they organised for the past four years as Rhino Velo Race Team.

Chris said: "It went really well, though it has been a big logistical task.

"We were lucky with the weather for the most part, when we started on Sunday it was a bit grim but it brightened up."

The Giro del Mon comprised two races, a main event that brought together twenty teams of four riders with top racing categories, and a support race open to individual riders.

The main Giro was made up of five stages across the three days, taking in roads around Minsterley as well as the runway at RAF Shawbury.

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Minsterley hosts Giro Del Mon

The air force base put on races on the Sunday in part to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RAF. Bases across the country are hosting events to mark the occasion.

Warrant officer Phil Llewellyn was the RAF point of contact for the riders, and he said: "Chris has put a lot of time and effort into this event and it seems to be a success.

"If it does well and grows bigger and bigger every year then RAF Shawbury has its foot in the door for years to come."

The support race was held over three stages, the second and third of them at RAF Shawbury. The race was designed to give riders a taste of stage racing and perhaps inspire them to make their way up the categories.

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