New riders announced for Shropshire's top racing team

A Shropshire-based cycling racing team, which became the top team in the West Midlands, has announced its new team members ahead of the next season.

The Paramount Performance Cycling Racing Team welcomed three new members during an awards night to celebrate the success of the Shrewsbury-based Paramount Cycle Racing Team club’s successful season this year.

Victoria Grimmer, 31, from Copthorne, Shrewsbury, the first woman to make it to the team, Graham South, 40, from Leegomery, Telford, who has risen through the ranks of Paramount, and Tomos Owens, 14, from Llanymynech, will all start training with the Paramount Performance Cycling Racing Team throughout the winter months to begin racing in the spring.

They will join Elliot Jones, 18, from Shrewsbury, Chris Wilkinson, 20, from Wem, as well as experienced rider Dave Griffiths.

Ben Lawrence, managing director of insurance broker Beaumont Lawrence and Co, which sponsors the team, and the racing team manager, said he was excited to welcome the new riders to the team.

He said: “It’s very exciting and bodes really well for the team’s future.

“We had a fantastic season this year, becoming the top racing team in the West Midlands, and we want to keep that momentum going next year.”

Mr Lawrence said each new member brought different strengths to the team.

He said: “Victoria had a really good season without much training and pretty much won every women’s race she entered. We think she’s going to get some amazing results this year.

“Graham is a new rider and won the most British Cycling points from our new riders.

“One of the reasons we set up the team was to inspire Paramount club members and Graham is a great example of what can be achieved in a short space of time.

“Tomos is a very talented youngster. He’s not going to be riding senior races with us but he can do circuit based races as a junior. He has a lot of promise and we want to support him at this early stage in his career.”

Victoria, a police constable in Shrewsbury, said she was thrilled to be selected for the team. She joined the Paramount club in January, 2012 and impressed members with her success in the Thursday Road Race League in Shropshire last season.

“It’s a big deal,” she said. “The team will provide me with the experience in racing that I need and I want to get advice and training tips from them and enter into races that will play to my strengths and then succeed for the team.”

Graham, who has been a member of the Paramount club for about 18 months, said he was thrilled to become a member of the elite team.

He said: “It is quite a privilege to be selected and to work with the other team members. I have been cycling for a while as I used to mountain bike but I started road cycling about three years ago.”

2013 was Graham’s first racing season and he gained his category three licence and was only two points short of his category two licence, which he hopes to get next season.

Tomos, a year 10 pupil at Llanfyllin High School, was the Welsh Criterium Champion under 14 last year and the British champion for track for the 2010/2011 season.

He said: “I’m really pleased to be able to get on the team, which did so well last season. I started cycling in 2009 and got hooked.”

The Paramount Performance Cycling Racing Team is also sponsored by Stan’s Cycles, nutrition manufacturer Torq and cyclist Bob Grinsell.

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