Southern Regional CX Championships, Keynsham

It was a bitterly cold day at Keynsham near Bristol in the shadow of the old chocolate factory for the Western and Southern Regional Cyclocross Championships. The event hosted by ShamXross brought together some of the top riders from the Western and Wessex cyclocross leagues to battle the mud and obstacles including steep banks, a huge spiral, rollers and a sandpit.

The youth races started with a hard frost on the frozen ground but as the sun rose, a slick top layer formed on the course to send riders sliding on the flat grass corners. Team Sotonia still managed a fine haul of results and podiums and from the first race, with Freddie Trosh who took the U8 boys championship race. In the U10s Matilda Wilks and Jaya Martingale were first and second girls, Billy Dyer taking second place boy. Sophie Jacobs and Tom Wilks also second and third in the U12s. The U14 race saw Izzy Hall pick up another silver medal. Other notable performances were Miles Horner and Louis Kirk with season bests to come 5th and 6th in the U16s.

Great riding everyone!

 

Provisional results:

https://www.racetecresults.com/results.aspx?CId=16665&RId=3305

Photo: Pitchside Paul

 


Round 6, Miche Wessex CX League, Andover

Redenham Park, near Andover was the venue for round 6, hosted by Andover Wheelers who laid on a great spread and plenty of refreshment options for hungry riders and support crews.

The course on the country park estate, a mix of grass meadow and twisting, woodland single track with a short tarmac section and a couple of imposing bomb holes. Heavy mid-week rain failed to dampen the course save for a few squirrelly wood sections and the race pace was fast again. The bomb holes certainly played their part though in detonating the race action, claiming a few victims to the steep crater walls!

Back to back wins for Tom and Tilly in the u12 and u10s, Freddie on the u8 boys top step, joined by Samuel in third. Tom and Niclas third and fourth u14 boys with Miles breaking into the top ten as a first year u16. Finally, ex-Sotonia youth rider, Max Darnton (Nova RT) took his first win in the Junior men. Well done everyone!

Photos: Pitchside Paul

 


Round 4, Miche Wessex CX League, Reading

The diehards prayed for rain and they got rain ‚Äď after three dry rounds, the Gods of Cross decided enough was enough and the heavens duly opened ahead of round four with hosts, Reading CC, working hard to lay out the course early on race day. Riders faced the classic parkland parcours and twisting single track of Prospect Park. In the sunshine however, it was to be no mud bath as the ground dried in most parts with a high pace to some cracking race action.

Luke Hammond won his first race in the U8s and as his dad Roger used to ride a bit, maybe a taste of what's to come? Tom Wilks was also on the top step in the U12s with Billy, Tilly, Eve and Jaya all top 5 in the U10 races, Sophie second in U12s. In the U14s, Izzy proudly wore her series leader jersey and finished a fine second place, Niclas and Monty both riding strongly too.

Special mention to the noisy bunch of Sotonia kids who cheered parents and coaches racing later in the day as they struggled up "Hilly McHillFace" - it certainly put a smile on our faces!

 


Round 3, Miche Wessex CX League, Foxhill

Round three of the Miche Wessex CX League was again held at Foxhill on Sunday, hosted by Andy Smith Events. Situated on a hilltop, south of Swindon this moto-cross venue is blessed with views to rival the best - not that many had time to soak it all in as fierce racing was matched by sunny and dry but challenging terrain. Familiar off-camber features like the hillside switchbacks, rutted turns and a super bumpy bank were back to challenge riders but it was an innocuous looking patch of gravel on the exit to a flat turn seemed to claim most victims. 14 Sotonia youth riders were in action after the drive to Swindon, claiming eight top five finishes between them! Big up also to the supporters and team mates who rang their cowbells so enthusiastically and cheered the riders each lap!

Great riding everyone!

Thanks to Pitchside Paul for the photos


Round 2, Miche Wessex CX League, Swindon

It was another dry and wickedly fast day of cross racing for round 2 of the Miche Wessex Cyclocross league hosted by Cotswold Veldrijden at the old Moredon Golf course venue in Swindon. The action was certainly on par with close fought battles in many of the races. Big race fields and sunshine the order of the day once the early dampness burnt off on the flowing, twisting course with plenty of tricky cambers to test riders’ resolve to stay off the brakes!

A strong showing by Sotonia youths and another hatful of great performances including the Wilks siblings who continued their winning streaks, Tom Allen taking more big steps forward as he pushed for the win all the way to the line in the u14 boys. Sophie Jacobs and Izzy Hall also on the girls u12 and u14 podiums.

Great riding everyone!

 

Thanks to Pitchside Paul for the photos


Round 1, Miche Wessex CX League, Romsey

Cross is back! We were stoked to be racing cx with supporters again last weekend. It was great to see the extended Wessex 'cross family' to socialise and see some hot, fast action supplied by hosts Fareham Wheelers in the early season sunshine at a new venue just up the road near Romsey - a rolling grassland course at the New Forest Care Outdoor Learning Centre.

From our squad of 25 youth entrants, we wasted no time in grabbing some hard earned podium places, with a 1-2 for Thomas and Luke in the U8 boys, a 1-2-3 for Tilly, Eva and Eve  in the U10 girls, with Billy taking 2nd in the U10 boys, as well as a win for Tom and a 2nd place for Sophie in the U12s! In the U14 categories, Izzy finished 3rd, Tom Allen was 5th, while the U16 boys, Louis, Miles, Thomas, George and Sam all battled hard in a strong field.

Great riding everyone!

 


April Youth News Update

So... we're back in the real world! It was great to get back to coaching at the start of April, with over 60 kids signed up to our Spring Saturday coaching series, to see our riders again, catch-up with parents and to welcome newbies to the club.

By mid April, we moved up a couple more gears with Sunday road coaching at Winchester Park & Ride circuit and the popular Thursday cyclocross fitness workout at the Sports Centre both restarting to near capacity turnouts.

Things have started happening quickly as lockdown eases and we saw the first club time trials of the season take place on the p164 course at Lyndhurst with two of our U14 riders - Niclas and Iz taking part and posting respectable times... or even better than the parents! Then at Nomansland where Louis, Miles and Niclas tackled the tough p182 course in the interclub TT with New Forest CC.

Southern XC also returned with cross country MTB racing which tempted kids, coaches and parents to make the trip to Checkendon in the sunshine on the first Sunday in April for round 1, then at Crow in the New Forest for round 2 on April 25th.

As if all that wasn't enough, youth road racing is also back too with VC Venta's youth criterium also held last weekend at the Park & Ride attracting big fields and competitors from far and wide and a great turnout from team Sotonia.

Well done everyone - here's hoping for more!

 

 

 


Round 3, Parentini Wessex CX League, Abingdon

Just before Christmas, 22 of our youths headed up the A34 as Take 3 Tri successfully managed to host round 3 of the Wessex Cyclocross league at Abingdon airfield. We were welcomed with no wind and clear skies making it unusually warm for Dalton and treated to a new course at an old favourite venue, full of tricky offcambers.

Yet again some notable podiums with Billy 2nd U8 boy, Eve and Tilly 2nd & 3rd U10 girls (a battle to watch this year). In the U12 race, an excellent performance by Sophie with a 2nd place and the boys had a right battle with Stanley 2nd and the two Toms battling it out for 3rd and 4th spot with Tom Wilks winning this week.

Moving onto the bigger course with the U14s, a good performance by Izzy and Emma with 2nd and 4th respectively. The boys had a right old ding-dong with Miles coming out on top in 6th. The U16s set off a minute in front of the U14s with an excellent ride by Lucy to finish 2nd U16 girl, with Max finishing 3rd U16 boy.

Well done to all our riders, let's hope for some more racing in 2021.

Thanks to Paul Paxford @pitchsidephoto for the photos. Full albums here

 

 


Round 2, Parentini Wessex CX League, Clanfield

The first Saturday of December saw a lifting of lockdown restrictions and more happily, the return of the Wessex Cyclocross league with round 2 at Clanfield. This race managing to be organised at short notice and excellently executed by our friends along the coast, Solent Pirates. Another great venue being added to the Wessex calendar.

Those attending found a course set to the magnificent backdrop of the South Downs National Park with plenty of technically challenging features. A hard race to start with, after a time away from riding and coaching. Our riders represented Sotonia well with podiums for the younger Wilks, Tilly U10F and older brother Tom U10M, Billy U8M & Lucy U16F. Others were close on their heals though with notable top 10 placings, the Zwift workout rides run by coaches Jon and Jez helping our riders maintain their fitness over the lockdown and improving some riders standings.

Great riding everyone!

U8 boys
Billy Dyer 2nd

U10 girls
Tilly Wilks 1st

U10 boys
Ben Allen 5th

U12 girls
Sophie Jacobs 7th

U12 Boys
Thomas Wilks 3rd, Stanley Phillips 4th,  Thomas Allen 5th

U14 Girls
Emma Harrison 4th

U14 Boys
George Connell 7th, Niclas Olley 11th, Thomas Jacobs 17th, Miles Horner 20th

U16 Girls
Lucy Phillips 1st

U16 Boys
Max Darnton 5th, Louis Kirk 6th.

 

 

Photo: Huw Williams


Round 1, Parentini Wessex CX League, Droxford

It may have been a crazy 2020 but Wessex Cyclocross league’s comeback was enthusiastically received at the weekend - and what better place to start than Hecklers Hill at Droxford? Sotonia kids showed that the lockdown Zwift sessions have paid off with some impressive results - virtual podiums for Billy Dyer, Tilly Wilks, Eve Carline, Stanley Phillips, Tom Wilks, Izzy Hall, George Connell and Lucy Phillips. Tom and Izzy both riding particularly well in new age groups!

Big thanks to the team at Fareham Wheelers who put on an awesome covid safe event.

Great riding everyone!

U8 boys
Billy Dyer 2nd

U10 girls
Tilly Wilks 1st, Eve Carline 3rd, Jaya Martingale 6th

U10 boys
Lorenzo Scarponi 7th, Corden ECCLESTON 8th, 10 Giulio SCARPONI 10th, Aneurin GILBERT 11th, Morgan GILBERT 14th, Samuel COMBEN 15th, Harry BANKS 16th

U12 girls
Skye Martingale 6th, Poppy Carline 9th, Sophie Jacobs 10th, Ella Ridgment 11th, Sophie Eccleston 14th, Marit Davidse 15th

U12 Boys
Stanley Phillips 2nd, Thomas Wilks 3rd, Thomas Allen 11th, Benji Pike 13th

U14 Girls
Izzy Hall 3rd, Emma Harrison 5th

U14 Boys
George Connell 3rd, Samuel Ridgment 5th

U16 Girls
Lucy Phillips 2nd