Sotonia Summer Criterium, June 2021

There were hot and sunny conditions for the 2021 edition of the Sotonia Summer Criterium, back after a covid enforced year off.  Well attended by Sotonia youth riders as always with 19 of our youngsters joining a full day of racing across the categories. Big thanks to the 100+ riders, to all the supporters and especially the helpers who made the event go so well!

Results here


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!




Sotonia Summer Criterium, June 2019

It may have started wet but that didn’t put the riders off for what turned out to be a great day’s racing in our Summer Criterium at Winchester Park & Ride circuit last Sunday.

The youth turnout was dominated by Sotonia riders, who made up 25 of the 72 youngsters - the total being a 22% increase from last year and proof that while senior race numbers may be stagnating in recent times, the future is bright with so many kids getting involved.

In the U8s all our riders rode confidently in the wet conditions, Fred finishing 3rd boy and Tilly winning the girls race with Tess 2nd and Eve 3rd.

The U10 race was nearly at full capacity with 22 riders with our top finishers Tom in 6th boy and Skye 2nd placed girl.

There were 16 riders in a closely fought and tactical U12 race where working as a team really helped in the strong headwind on the uphill finish straight. Charlie and George pairing up to attack and break free with Sam and Iz sharing the work together just behind. George won his sprint battle with Charlie in a reversal of last weeks city centre crit.

The U14s featured two of our riders - Ethan and Louis who both gave it their all.


The placings of our youth riders were:

U8 Girls
Tilly 1st, Tess 2nd, Eve 3rd, Jaya 4th, Isabelle 5th

U8 Boys
Fred 3rd, William 5th, Lorenzo 6th, Guilio 7th

U10 Girls
Skye 2nd, Ella 3rd, Eva 4th, Poppy 5th

U10 Boys
Tom W 6th, Tom A 9th, James 10th, Lucas 11th, Benji 13th, Sam 14th

U12 Girls
Izzy 2nd

U12 Boys
George 3rd, Charlie 4th, Sam 6th

U14 Boys
Ethan 8th, Louis 9th


In the senior races Gemma Wilks finished 6th, with Ryan Durrant 8th, Joseph Wynne 9th and Jamie Doel 11th in the 4th cats.

In the 3rd cat race, new Sotonia member, Kouros Driscoll was looking to make moves when a minor spill on the sharp bottom corner put him out of contention. In the end, it was another new club member, Andrew Gardiner who took the sprint win after strong work on the front by chairman, Phil Wilks and a breakaway move that nearly stuck, initiated by Patrick Stumpf.

Big thanks to everyone who raced, supported or helped out.



Winchester City Criterium, 9 June 2019

A total of 16 Sotonia Youth riders started in the Winchester Criterium and the U8, U10 and U12 races had a good representation from our club.

The standard of racing was very high and riders who often make a podium place suddenly found themselves further down the strong field. This does mean that every rider should be proud of their result as it is intimidating to race with very experienced young riders on a twisty street course and being cheered on by hundreds of supporters.

William was on his way to a good result in the U8 boys race but he had a bad fall and had to pull out for a visit to the ambulance. It was good to see him back on his feet though later to cheer on the other racers. Lorenzo and Giulio must have passed the finish just before the leader as they were made to race for nearly 15 minutes but still averaged over 20 km/h through the twisty streets! Corden was not far behind but he timed his passing of the finish line better.

Jaya showed all her experience and she had a very good race to finish only 30 seconds off 3rd place in the U8 girls. Isabebelle was probably the youngest person in the race but she was very determined and kept going at a good pace to complete 3 Km on her little bike.

In the U10 race Marit decided at the last moment not to race. Her bike did race though as Ruby's freehub broke 10 minutes before the U12 start. We ran to the Solent Pirates tent (thanks guys!), borrowed a pedal spanner, changed the pedals from Ruby's bike to Marit's bike, changed the saddle position and Ruby raced on a bike that was really too small for her. All this excitement did mean though that your correspondent completely missed the U10 race. The results show that Skye, Eva, Tom and Lucas all had good finishing positions in a very competitive field.

The U12 race saw a very good "battle" between Charlie, George and Monty. Each of them was leading at some stage but a small slip on the cobbles saw Monty fall back. Charlie used all his Portsmouth circuit racing experience to edge out George by less than a second. In the U12 Girls race Izzy finished 20 seconds off the podium which is very good for a 1st year U12 rider!

Ruby and Olivia had a good battle all race with each of them in front at some stage. It came down to a final sprint and Olivia just squeezed past Ruby.


The placings of our riders were:

U8 Girls

Jaya 4th, Isabelle 6th

U8 Boys

Lorenzo 9th, Giulio 10th, Corden 15th, William DNF

U10 Girls

Skye 7th, Eva 12th

U10 Boys

Tom A. 11th, Lucas 17th

U12 Girls

Izzy 5th, Olivia 11th, Ruby 12th

U12 Boys

Charlie 11th, George C 12th, Monty 13th


Sotonia Summer Criterium

Next up is our own Criterium event at Winchester South Park & Ride circuit this Sunday 16th June - see you there!


Sotonia Summer Criterium, 17 June

Returning for the fifth year running, youth numbers were good for the Sotonia Summer Criterium on Sunday with 59 youth riders – 17 of which were from Sotonia! In warm, breezy conditions, Tom Wilks finished 3rd U8 boy, Fred Kelsell Joel 5th. Marit Davidse 1st U8 girl, Jaya Martingale 3rd, Tilly Wilks and Theresa Bignell 4th and 5th U8 girls,

In the U10s, Izzy Hall rode well to finish 2nd place girl, Skye Martingale 4th, Ella Ridgment 5th and Poppy Carline 6th. Monty Flavell 3rd U10 boy, Joseph Bignall 7th, Sid Kelsell-Joel 8th and Sam Perry 9th.

Also a great team effort by our U12s with Olivia Allman 2nd girl and the boys who enjoyed the experience and are quickly learning the art of road racing and worked well as a team - Louis Kirk 6th, George Connell 8th and Sam Ridgment 10th.

A big thank you to all the coaches, parents, members and wives who helped make the event happen!



June youth race news

Winchester City Criterium

The Winchester criterium is a great circular circuit course through the streets of Winchester with large crowds on many parts of the course cheering on the riders. A small number of determined Sotonia riders braved the pressure of this more intense race.

The highlight of the U10 race was Izzy standing on the podium of the U10 girls race as the 3rd placed rider. Charlie (7th U10) and Lucas (8th U8) also had great rides in the U10 boys race as did Skye (9th) in the U10 girls race. Charlie and Douglas Forrester used the lessons learned in their first P&R coaching session to ride to a 6th and 9th place in the U10 boys race.

The u12 race was a high speed race where cornering and positioning skills were very important. The Winchester criterium attracts riders from further away which makes this a competitive and well fought race. George C and Sam R are still young for the U12 category but they held their own in the fast field and rode to a 19th and 23rd place. Olivia and Evelyn represented the U12 girls from our coaching group and rode to a 8th and 11th place in the U12 girls race.


Southern XC MTB, Crowhill, round 2

Ben Darnton reports: "Southern XC came to Crow Hill in the New Forest for round two on the Sunday of the hot Bank Holiday weekend. Having arrived and signed on Max and I went for a practice lap.

The lap at Checkendon for round one took about 20 minutes to complete, this lap took nearly 40 minutes at sighting lap pace. We ended up rushing to make it back to the start with only 2 mins to spare. Quite a warm up! The course was much, much more technical than round one with repeated short sharp and steep climbs.

Max got away fine at the start and when he came through the feed zone for the first time he didn't look like he was enjoying himself, not many did though - this was a major step up! He kept at it and completed 2 laps in 1hr 12 mins, that's double the time of his normal cross races! Youth MTB racing is hardcore!"


Newbury Summer CX, Round 4

After missing last week because of holiday, Max was surprised by a good 2nd row grid position. We'd talked in the car about riding with urgency and going hard from the start, like after he dropped his chain in round 2 and that's what he did. He got away clean at the start which resulted in him being just in front of a small crash early in the first lap. This created a gap and Max pressed the advantage.

Riding hard for the whole race, Max kept good speed throughout the longer course and was consistently making up time in the later laps on the 3rd place U14 boy, finishing 4th. Max looked strong this week, finished with a smile on his face and rode the race exactly to plan.