The last race at Southampton Sports Centre was a great end to the 2018/19 Wessex League Cyclocross season. The course was the hardest one that our youngsters faced all season. The Crabwood cycling club organisers broke with tradition and made the youngsters cross the muddy BMX track and then go back through the forest. This meant a technical, muddy, hilly, varied, long and hard loop that tested everyone. Experience paid dividends on this course and a number of our riders wisely choose to run some sections and they avoided the many falls that riders had.

In the U8 Girls Tilly used her experience to run sections and finish second. She only had to give way to the daughter of a former British CX Champion. Tess had a bad fall but recovered to finish in 3rd place. Jaya once again gained yet more experience – she is quietly getting ready to be top girl in next years U8s!

The U8 Boys category in the club is also getting more competitive with Freddie, William and Corden joining Harry as regulars. Freddie continued on from his good result at Crow to finish 6th this time. William had a very hard introduction to racing but coped well. The muddy course was hard for Corden’s 20 inch wheels but he gained valuable skills for next year’s season.

Skye narrowly missed the podium in the U10 Girls race finishing 4th. Ella showed that like Skye she is ready for next year’s U12 category as she finished not far behind Skye. Marit will be the oldest U10 girl next year and she used her experience to walk muddy sections and avoid the many crashes. Eva, Hannah and Alisha have not done as many races as Marit but they all coped well with the conditions and showed great determination.

In the U10 Boys Stanley just missed the podium. He was followed by Jo Bignell and Tom Wilks who have been close all season. Jo had the upper hand this time finishing 6th. Tom will be the oldest U10 boy next year and he showed he is ready for this. Tom Allen, Sam White, Benji and Sam Perry showed how far the Sotonia Youth Coaching has matured as they all had their own battles with riders from other clubs to create great racing.

The larger bikes in the U12 race coped better with the muddy banks but the greater speeds still meant there were falls for some of our riders. George narrowly missed out on the podium to finish 4th. Samuel and Monty discussed race tactics in the car on the way to the race. This must have worked as Samuel had one of his best races this season finishing 7th. Monty is a gymnast as well and he used all his acrobatics to control the bike in the mud finishing 9th as most likely the youngest person in the race. Just like in the U10 race Jonathan, Charlie, Sid and George White showed the strength of our coaching as they made other riders work hard for their positions.


The U14 team for Sotonia is still small but a number of U12 riders are moving up next year. Lucy had a great race to finish 3rd in the U14 girls and together with Max and Louis they showed that next year’s U16 race will be full of talented and competitive Sotonia riders.

At the end of a great day of racing the stats read:

U8 Girls
Tilly Wilks 2nd, Tess Bignell 3rd, Jaya Martingale 4th
U8 Boys
Freddie Kelsall-Joel 6th, William Dyer 7th, Harry Banks 11th, Corden Eccleston 14th

U10 Girls
Skye Martingale 4th, Ella Ridgment 6th, Marit Davidse 8th, Eva Mar-Moliner 10th, Hannah Olney 11th, Alisha Kirk 12th
U10 Boys
Stanley Phillips 4th, Jo Bignell 6th, Tom Wilks 7th, Tom Allan 9th, Sam White 11th, Benji Pike 13th, Sam Perry 15th

U12 Girls
Olivia Allman 6th, Emma Harrison 7th
U12 Boys
George Connell 4th, Samuel Ridgment 7th, Monty Flavell 9th, Jonathan Lowe 14th, Charlie Shepherd 17th, Sid Kelsall-Joel 25th, George White 27th

U14 Girls
Lucy Philips 3rd
U14 Boys
Max Darnton 7th, Louis Kirk 12th


Race photos here