Hope pair both on the podium ahead of trip to South Africa

Rachel Walker in action and below Paul (centre) on the podium
Rachel Walker in action and below Paul (centre) on the podium

Hope Technology duo Paul Oldham and Rachael Walker were both on the podium at the weekend ahead of their trip to South Africa for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 1 next month.

Paul, 36, of Trawden, won the first round of the Altura/Nutcracker North of England Cross-Country series at Dalby Forest on the North Yorks Moors.

And Rachael, 29, from Clitheroe, was competing in Scotland in round one of the Scottish Downhill Association at Innerleithen, where she finished in second place.

The pair, who both work and race for the bicycle component manufacturer, based in Barnoldswick, now turn their attentions towards Pietermaritzburg, near Durban, where they will fly out for on April 6th, and compete a week later on the 13th.

Rachael, who competed at the World Cup in Canada last year, finishing 18th after qualifying in 15th, is hoping to finish in the top 20 to reach the final, which would be a big achievement against full-time riders.

While Paul also has high hopes, in a year which could also see him qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

It is a big year for Hope, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary, and hope to win planning permission for a 200m Velodrome at the site.