Round 3, Parentini Wessex CX League, Abingdon

Just before Christmas, nearly 40 of our cyclocross racers 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 off-cambers.

Top club finishers in the adult races were Ben Darnton 10th (v40 men), Jon Hall 3rd (v50 men) who led the race until a spill on the penultimate lap dropped him a couple of spots on the podium, Gemma Wilks 5th (senior women) and chairman, Phil Wilks 10th (senior men).

In the youth races, there were podiums for Billy 2nd U8 boy, Eve and Tilly 2nd and 3rd U10 girls. In the U12 race, an excellent performance by Sophie with a 2nd place and the boys battled with Stanley 2nd and the two Toms battling it out for 3rd and 4th spot with Tom Wilks winning this time.

In the U14s, a good performance by Izzy and Emma with 2nd and 4th respectively. The boys saw Miles coming out on top in 6th. An excellent ride by Lucy to finish 2nd U16 girl, with Max finishing 3rd U16 boy.

Chapeau to the organisers who must have spent hours sorting the course and making extra safety precautions but the efforts were hugely appreciated.

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

Thanks to Paul Paxford @pitchsidephoto for the photos. More here.



Parentini Wessex CX League, Droxford, Round 1

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?

Top category results from Tom Budden – 2nd (v40s), 4th for Jon Hall (v50s), Gemma Wilks 5th (senior women), Craig Hay 14th senior men. Sotonia kids also showed that the lockdown Zwift sessions have paid off with some impressive results and virtual podiums for our youth team!

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

Photos: Shaun Boggust and Martin Olney


Covid-19 Update: Resuming Group Rides

On Monday 22nd June, the Sotonia committee discussed the best way forward for the club to enable activities to take place while minimising any risk to members.

British Cycling have recently updated their Covid 19 guidance to say that club activities and coaching sessions can resume, providing they are delivered in line with Government guidance on group sizes and social distancing.

We would like to encourage members to resume social rides in groups of up to six people, but we can't see a way to safely resume our regular Sunday and Wednesday morning meet-ups at North Baddesley just yet. We have no control over the number of people who might turn up, social distancing could be tricky and with a maximum group size of six there's likely to be a shortage of ride leaders.

With this in mind we suggest that anyone who would like to lead a ride posts the details on the Sotonia Facebook group and/or WhatsApp Group and invites other members to join their ride.

The meet-up location should be somewhere that allows 6 people to assemble while observing social distancing.

We will continue to monitor the situation and resume organised club runs as soon as it is safe to do so.



Up to 6 people can exercise together.



At least 2 metres apart, or "1 metre plus" if everyone is wearing PPI.

In terms of a bike ride, if the 2 metres distance is between your faces, and bikes are 160-175 cm long, you should ride an absolute minimum of 50 cm away from the rider in front, ideally a metre or more to avoid getting too close if someone brakes in front. Riding 2 abreast when socially distancing is likely to only be possible on wide roads or quiet country lanes.



At 15-20 miles an hour you'll be passing through the same air as the rider in front within a fraction of a second, and while 2 metres is technically the "safe" distance, there is a tangible risk of breathing air containing particles of someone else's breath. You should be aware that the 2 metre distance has been set by the government to limit the risk of contagion to an acceptable level, and there is still some risk of being exposed to the virus.



Please don't join a group ride if you are over 70, are a vulnerable person or live with a vulnerable person, or have reason to believe you may have come into contact with the virus in the last 2 weeks.



Quite a few cafés are now open, or another option for a stop would be to pack some food or buy a snack from a shop and have a socially distanced picnic.

Here's a list of cafés known to be open, but please check opening times and other details as most will be open for takeaway food only:

New Forest
Hythe, fish and chips shops x 2
Pallets, Beaulieu
The Lookout, Lepe
Exbury Gardens (only Eddy's cafe)
Hockey's Farm Shop, South Gorley
Lymington fish and chip shop

Test Valley
Josie’s, Romsey
Carlos, Wellow
Lockerley Green village shop (inc. Costa coffee machine)
Coffee Lab/Woodfire, Stockbridge
Longstock/Leckford Farm Shop café aka Waitrose-in-the-Woods

Middle East
Josie’s, Bishops Waltham
Handlebar Cafe, Viaduct Way, Winchester
Coffee van on Old Winchester Hill (road junction at GR SU644 217)
Caracoli, Alresford
Preston Candover Community Shop
Kudos, Whitchurch
The Village Bakery, Whitchurch (and Overton)

Far East
Cloisters Continental café, The Square, Petersfield
Bumblebee café, Rowlands Castle
Old Forge Tea Rooms, Hambledon

Cancellation of all club activities due to Coronavirus

Following advice from the Government as well as our governing bodies Cycling UK and British Cycling we are cancelling all club activities until 30th April. We will review this in mid-April for events form May onwards. This includes...

• Club runs (Sunday rides and Wednesday Wheelers)
• Reliability rides
• Time trials
• Youth coaching and roller sessions

Cycling UK and British Cycling have asked all clubs not to run any group activities, including club runs and reliability rides.

They also highlight that people should not avoid cycling altogether as it's a great way to keep fit and boost immunity.


Sotonia CC on Strava

If you're on Strava, now is a great time to join the Sotonia CC group to keep up with everyone's solo rides:


Time trials

We have no idea how long this might go on for, but here are some TT dates for your diary after 30th April...

  • 7 May: 10 mile club TT on the P164 course at 6:30pm
  • 10 May: 10 mile open TT on the P164 course at 8:00am (enter in advance via CTT website)
  • 14 May: 10 mile club TT on the P164 course at 6:30pm
  • 26 May: 25 mile club TT with New Forest CC on the P128 course at 7:00pm (interclub)
  • 9 June: 10 mile club TT on the P128 course at 7:00pm (club championships!)
  • 25 June: 25 mile club TT with Venta and Andover on the P724 course at 6:30pm (interclub)
  • 9 July: 25 mile club TT on the P128 course at 7:00pm (club championships!)
  • 2 August: 10 mile open TT on the P164 course at 9:00am (enter in advance via CTT website)
  • 18 August: 10 mile club TT with New Forest CC on the P128 course at 7:00pm (interclub)
  • 6 September: Hill climb competition on P14H course at 10:30am

P164 course: Lyndhurst
P128 course: Cadnam
P724 course: Sutton Scotney
P14H course: West Dean


Reliability rides

Our reliability rides will hopefully be able to continue from Sunday 31st May. For the March and April rides we will publish the routes online and encourage members to ride them solo.

Norman receives Distinguished Life Member award by Veterans Time Trials Association

In recognition of his outstanding service to the Veterans Time Trials Association, both with his racing achievements and his contribution to the running of the Wessex Group where he serves as Membership Secretary and Lunch organiser, Norman Harvey has been awarded Distinguished Life Membership by the NEC. It was presented to him at the Wessex Vets annual prize presentation today by our Chairman David Collard-Berry. Very few Members are presented with this award which makes it even more special. Well done Norman - just love your shirt ?.

South Region Cyclocross Championships, Foxhill

The South Region Cyclocross Championships this weekend saw a return to the motocross venue at Foxhill, Swindon. Organiser, Andy Smith Events, gave us a challenging, new look course with more features than our previous league visit this season. A reversed course direction included tricky off camber banks that saw most running, steps up the big hill and Koppenberg style off camber switchbacks back down it. Conditions were best described as changeable!

The morning youth races had bright sunshine with Eva Mar-Molinero (u10), Izzy Hall (u12) both winners as Sotonia youth riders took eight podium places.

There was a dramatic weather change during the v40 mens race when the fast pace hit torrential rain and hail, quickly turning the course into a skid pan. Our top finisher Ben Darnton (12th). Gemma Wilks finished 5th in the senior women. Jon Hall took the victory in the v50 men as the driving rain returned again briefly. By the senior men’s race, gale force wind dried the course somewhat, meaning busy pit work for riders, Phil Wilks our best placed finisher in 8th place.

Great riding everyone and congratulations to our three new Southern region CX champs!


Round 3, Parentini Wessex CX League, Swindon

Round 3 of the Parentini Wessex CX league gave us a new course on the Foxhill motocross circuit at Swindon, hosted by ASE Racing and Hargroves Cycles and our 39 Sotonia racers knew they could expect one thing - hills! Overnight rain also added the extra potential for mud which dogged the morning action.

In the early races, our top finishers were Tilly Wilks - first U8 girl, William Dyer 3rd U8 boy, Eva Mar-Molinero 2nd U10 girl, Tom Wilks 5th u10 boy, Skye Martingale 5th U12 girl, Monty Flavell and Stanley Phillips 3rd and 4th U12 boys. George Connell 13th U14 boy, Max Darnton 5th U16 and a win for Lucy Phillips in the U14 girls. Gemma Wilks finished 7th senior woman, Ben Darnton 13th v40 and Jon Hall 5th V50.

By the time of the last race, however, sunshine and strong winds and dried the course for some fast, exciting racing on the rolling grassland course that featured short, punchy climbs, off camber 'Koppenberg' style switchback descents and fast straights.

The senior men started at a high pace as Tom Budden made the lead group of four that forged clear of the field, Tom leading the group for much of the race as they pushed on in the high winds. In the penultimate lap, a strong attack from the Palmer Park rider into the headwind on the back straight detonated the group. Behind, the battle for third was settled in a super close sprint finish, Tom just edging it, having put himself in a good position out of the final corner in what turned out to be a thrilling race.

The cross season is starting to fly by already and it's just three weeks to round 6, hosted by us at Southampton Sports Centre on Sunday 27th October! Enter online here


Cyclocross is back! Wessex League round 1, Newbury

The Parentini Wessex Cyclo-Cross league got off to a flying start on Sunday at Newbury race course on Sunday in super hot and dusty conditions that are becoming more common in September these days. Round 1, held for the second year on the flat racecourse infield of long, draggy grass and gravel tracks saw a sea of orange take to the start line with 26 Sotonia youths part of our team of 43 riders!

There were podiums in the U8s for Tilly Wilks (1st), U12s with Izzy Hall and Charlie Shepherd 1st and 3rd in their races, Lucy Phillips 3rd U14. Tom Budden taking 5th place in the senior men after a long battle for 3rd spot. Elsewhere, top club finishers included Ben Darnton 15th v40, Jez Hart 13th v50 and Gemma Wilks 8th senior woman.

Great racing everyone!

New Mixed tandem record for Wilks and Corbett

There were rather a lot of happy Sotonia CC faces last weekend in the Paceline RT 10 mile Timetrial on the P881r course. Evan Jardine-Skinner broke the 20 minute barrier for the first time (19:48) and was pretty delighted, as was Tim Cooke and Graham Harman who both produced pb's.

Phil Wilks and Mary Corbett powered round in a time of 21:34, a new mixed tandem Club record and only 10 seconds off the Club all-comers record. Thanks to Norman Harvey for being chief supporter and mechanic.

Results: Sotonia Open 10 mile TT (P164), 4 Aug

Pos Name Gender Club Time
1 Nick Tarmey Male Velo Club Venta 21:41
2 Paul Jones Male Primera-Teamjobs 21:50
3 Paul Lockyer Male New Forest CC 21:51
4 Neil Mackley Male a3crg 22:02
5 Aron Kelly Male New Forest CC 22:38
6 Simon Berogna Male Velo Club St Raphael 22:50
7 Julian Lockwood Male Primera-Teamjobs 23:03
8 Phil Wilks Male Sotonia CC 23:05
9 Stuart Gillies Male Twickenham CC 23:28
10 Ray Claridge Male New Forest CC 23:35
11 Nick Ohara Male New Forest CC 23:35
12 Bradley Perkins Male PDQ Cycle Coaching 24:00
13 Barry Hards Male New Forest CC 24:44
14 Pete Harris Male Andover Wheelers 24:47
15 Caitlin Peters Female Storey Racing 24:48
16 Kirsty Mcseveney Female a3crg 25:05
17 Terry Icke Male CC Weymouth 25:27
18 Martin Beale Male Velo Club St Raphael 25:30
19 Ian Turner Male Tornado Road Cycling Club 25:35
20 Mike Anderson Male Club Cycliste Moncontourais 25:42
21 Matthew Gilmour Male Velo Club Venta 25:42
22 Simon West Male Andover Wheelers 25:53
23 Adrian Watkins Male Tornado Road Cycling Club 27:28
24 Jonathan Legg Male Sotonia CC 27:38
25 Oliver Berney Male Royal Sutton CC 27:39
26 William Simmons Male Christchurch Bicycle Club 28:24
27 Sien Van Der Plank Female University of Southampton RC 29:06
28 David England Male Crabwood CC 29:29
29 Kevin Bannister Male Hardley Runners 32:22
30 Martin Balk Male 3C Cyclexperience 33:16
31 Mary Corbett Female Sotonia CC 37:44