A number of Sotonia Youth riders are still in denial about the off-road season having finished and they made their way to the Matterley estate near Winchester for round 1 of the Southern XC MTB series. The race had a Droxford feel – windy hilltop with views over the Hampshire countryside. The course was different though with the organisers laying out a 1 km twisty course through the forest with a long gravel straight and some grass to go back to the forest.

There were four girls in the U9 girls race and with one Solent Pirate riding U9 instead of U12 and one Cotswold Veldrijden pulling out injured after 2 laps, Marit suddenly found herself in 2nd place! She downplayed the achievement but by being on the start everyone is already a winner as many children just would not think of riding a windy, muddy race over a technical forest course.

William has recovered from his mishap on the Moors Valley family ride and he rode to a 13th place in the U9 boys.

The U12 race saw more Sotonia coaching group riders. Our riders were cheered on by Charlie Shepherd who already raced Saturday and George/Sam White who did a parkrun in the morning.

Olivia was held up by a crash at the start but she recovered well to finish 9th U12 girl. Ruby Flavell swapped timing chip with brother Monty but taking this into account and ignoring official results she finished 13th. Ella is a very young U12 and she did well to finish 16th riding nearly 26 minutes! These Mountain bikers are a tough group!

In the U12 boys race Samuel and Monty were racing each other with Monty just coming out on top finishing 17th with Samuel just behind in 19th.