New cyclocross season off and running at Newbury Race course

The new cyclocross season is off and running at Newbury Race course for the 2018/2019 season! Sunny skies and an “easy” grassland course to stretch the legs. Riders had to keep pushing those pedals as there was no coasting in the long grass! Hurdles provided a good skill test for team Sotonia’s 18 youth and 15 adults.

Highlights were a podium for Tilly Wilks in the U8s, 8th place for Tom Budden in the senior men. Jon Hall and Ben Darnton 13th and 14th v40 men, Gemma Wilks 13th senior woman.

Photo gallery


Successful return for the Heath Races

After several years absence, the Heath Races returned in June - with Crabwood CC hosting the TLI series in their 75th anniversary celebrations, for four races on the circuit near Beaulieu and attracting big turnouts for Sotonia racers in both senior and vets races.

Race one saw Three Sotonia riders smashing it up in the break - Brook Elgie, Phil Wilks and Red Walters, who rode away for the win. To top it off James Peckham got 4th place making it a clean 1-2-3-4 sweep for Sotonia!

In race two the seniors split to bits, with a Venta 1-2, Sotonia taking 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th with Brook Elgie, Patryk Rucki, Phil Wilks and James Peckham. The vets race turned out to be a fast, attacking affair that came back together for a final sprint with Jon Hall taking 2nd, Justin Menhenett 7th.

Race three was held in glorious weather again with 15 Sotonia riders and a sprint win for Brook Elgie from the break in the vets race. 2nd place for James Peckham in the seniors.

The final senior race was again dominated by Sotonia - James Peckham, winning solo after a tactical tussle with a strong Venta team. Red Walters and Brook Elgie rounded out a Sotonia top 3 and Justin Menhenett 5th in the Vets race.

View the Heath race #4 photo gallery here



Sotonia Summer Criterium report

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 Sotonia in a season that has seen falling race entries for many events. In warm, breezy conditions, Tom Wilks finished 3rd U8 boy, Marit Davidse 1st U8 girl, Jaya Martingale 3rd, Tilly Wilks and Theresa Bignell 4th and 5th U8 girls, Izzy Hall 2nd U10 girl, Monty Flavell 3rd U10 boy and a great team effort by our U12 boys.

The E123 race featured five Sotonia riders. The group stayed together until around the halfway mark when Matt Downie (TAAP Cervelo) put in a trademark stinging attack that took several laps to bring back. A trio of riders then got away including Matt and Brook Elgie which split the pack in two as others bridged across to make a group of seven. With two laps to go Ed Slot made a solo bid but was chased down to leave the final group sprint won by Rhys HIDRIO (HJL), Mike Smith (MB Cyclery) 2nd and Matt Downie 3rd. Sotonia taking positions 6-10: Brook Elgie, Ed Slot, Tom Budden, Patryk Rucki and James Peckham.

Many thanks to all the club members who helped make this event possible.

Full results here

Sotonia 1-2 at Sandie Radford

Popular spring classic, the Sandie Radford Memorial Road Race returned this weekend to attract a quality field of 48 riders, including past winner Matt Downie (TAAP Cervelo) and Sotonia rising star, Red Walters.

Sotonia fielded a big team of eight riders keen to make their mark on the 45 mile ‘sporting’ course around Nomansland in the New forest.

The action got off to a quick start with club riders James Peckham and Brook Elgie stringing the bunch out and after half a lap, a dozen riders had a 25 second gap on the bunch in a biting cold tailwind on Roger Penny Way. By the end of lap 1, the race was back together but Red was already on the attack in a two man break with Lee Rutland (Bike Jockey). The two forged on, forcing others to chase as a dozen again rode clear of the bunch in pursuit.

By lap three, the lead group, including Red, James Peckham, Tom Budden, Phil Godfrey and Brook Elgie was back together. The winning move came on the final lap as James got a gap and Red quickly bridged to him. With Half a lap to go they had forced a lead of over a minute from the chasing break - any attempt nullified with strong Sotonia teamwork by Tom, Brook and Phil chasing down any attempts to pursue the leaders.

As the road pitched up for the steep final climb of Pipers Wait, Red pulled clear and he crossed the line alone, James taking a fine second place in only his first race of the year and well ahead of the pursuing break. Tom Temple (Primera Team Jobs) rounding out the podium, after pipping Matt Downie in the final dash for the line.

Red: “Just after the bell, James got a gap, I bridged over, we stuck our heads down and the gap grew. Basically E3 Harelbeke!”


So a fantastic and well deserved 1-2 for Sotonia, with Phil, Tom and Brook finishing 11, 12 and 13th after brilliant support work. Our other riders all finished in the pack not far behind - Phil Wilks (23rd), Tim Cooke (25th), and Nick Austin (31st).

Our thanks to Glenn Longland, TLI Cycling league, sponsor Gary Allan, all the marshals, time keepers and helpers for another fine event.




1. Red Walters - Sotonia
2. James Peckham - Sotonia
3. Tom Temple - Primera-Teamjobs
4. Matthew Downie - Taap Cervelo
5. Ian Taylor - Leicester Forest CC
6. Lee Rutland - Bike Jockey CC
7. Oscar Hutchings - VC Equipe-Flix
8. Matthew Norris - Mud Sweat n Gears CC
9. George Smith - Tri-UK
10. Max Moyles - Primera Teamjobs
11 Phil Godfrey - Sotonia CC
12 Tom Budden - Sotonia CC
13 Brook Elgie - Sotonia CC
14 James Horton - VC St Raphael
15 Rowan Horner - VC St Raphael
16 Zak Snell - UK-Biking/Bournemouth Cycleworks
17 Steve Dring - Team Echelon
18 Roland Tilley - Weber Creative Interiors / Bournemouth Cycleworks
19 Grzegorz Gacek - Nowotarski Klub Kolarski
20 Jason Gault Primera-TeamJobs Race Team

Race photos  courtesy of Jez Hart:


Wessex Cyclocross round 12, Abingdon - Report

Freezing temperatures, snow, rain, wind and some 'proper cross' conditions didn't put our brave cyclo-crossers off at Abingdon on Sunday. The youth races were run in near blizzard conditions but still saw some top results for Sotonia - Isabella Hall 2nd and Skye Martingale 5th in U10 girls. U12s - Loius Kirk 5th. U14s - Max Darnton 9th. U8s - Marit Davidse 5th girl and Tom Wilks 5th boy.

By the time the adult races set off, snow had given way to driving rain with the temperature just above freezing. Many a pre and post race being spent shivering in cars with heaters on full blast. Our v40 men however, coped well with the cold on the flat but challenging and technical Abingdon airfield course. Great starts by Jon Hall, Jez Hart and Ben Darnton led them into top 10 in positions that they would trade until the final lap when the three battled it out, with Jez managing to pass Ben in the last corners to take 4th, Jon 5th and Ben 6th in the category.

There were more top 10 finishes in the v50 men and women's races for Jon Dudley (8th v50) and Gemma Wilks 7th in the senior women race. The senior race also started promisingly for Tom Budden who led for the first lap but succumbed to the arctic conditions and was forced to retire.

That leaves just one final cross race next Sunday at Southampton Sports Centre for round 13 hosted by Crabwood CC, it promises to bookend a very successful season for the club with more testing January weather conditions.


Gold for Fitzjohn in the Southern Cyclocross Championships

It was the Southern Cyclocross Championships last weekend at Popham airfield. A great course with a little bit of MTB tech thrown in! Congratulations to v65-70 men's Southern Cyclocross champion Simon Fitzjohn.

Other highlights were 6th place for Tom Budden in the Seniors, 9th for Jon Hall in the v40 men. Jon Dudley 6th v55 men. John Phillips 4th v60 men. Gemma Wilks 11th Senior women. Izzy Hall 2nd place U10 girl, Tom Wilks 4th U8 boy, Marit Davidse 2nd U8 girl, Tilly Wilks 3rd U8 girl. George Connell 9th place U12 boy. Well done everyone!


Wessex Cyclocross round 9, Fareham - Report

There were 14 youth and 12 adult Sotonia racers this Sunday for round 9 of Wessex Cyclocross league at the Droxford Motor Cross track for the second time this season. Our hosts, Fareham Wheelers, laid on a tough course that once again featured the big hill and nasty descent for the youth and adult races that caught many out to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd! After last weeks heavy mud at Southampton we were surprisingly back to fast and dry conditions. The course had drained from the overnight rain and when racing got underway the sun was out making for a beautiful day’s racing.

Top results for Sotonia were Izzy Hall: 3rd place in the U10 girls, Loius Kirk 14th in the U12s. Phil Connell 11th in the v40s, Jon Dudley 12th v50 and Gemma Wilks 9th senior woman. In the senior men race, Tom Budden eventually finished in 9th place after spending much of the race in a group of three with local riders, Alex Forrester ( and junior, Barney Clacy (Hargroves Ridley Montezuma) in the chase for 4th. Well done everyone!

Full results



Wessex Cyclocross round 8, Sotonia – Report


With the mud now dried on another epic club cyclocross event, there is further proof that cyclocross is the fastest growing discipline in cycling with another record turnout including 27 club riders among the 376 competitors who didn’t let a little mud stop them on Sunday.

Our course designers cooked up a course that was "proper cross” - challenging and technical with sticky mud after overnight rain definitely playing it's part, shin-deep in a couple of places!

In the youth races, Sotonia fielded 11 riders with a tight battle between U12s George Connell and Louis Kirk for 10th and 11th. Marit Davidse (5th U8 girl), Tom Wilks (7th U8 boy), Ella Ridgement (5th U10 girl).

There was a superb 9th, 10th and 13th in the v40s for Jonathan Hall, Ben Darnton and Phil Connell. Followed by 12th in the Women’s senior race for Gemma Wilks. Simon Fitzjohn (36th v50 men).

The final senior race was going to be decided by a very busy pit crew jet washing bikes sometimes twice in a lap as riders tried to keep the mud at bay and saw current league leader Tom Budden take 6th place after being locked in battle with Joe Hickerton for much of the race. Chris Linney (23rd), Craig Hay (27th), Phil Wilks (28th), Phil Godfrey (31st) and Darren Sell (54th).

Big thanks to Jez Hart and Tom Budden for organising, to our riders, supporters, cake makers and most of all marshals and helpers, many of whom stayed long after sunset to take the course down and pack up after a very long day!

Wessex League report and full results here

Club Run to Hill Climb and Dandy's Ford

The club run will start as normal at 9:00 on Sunday 22nd October from Fleming Avenue, North Baddesley. For the day, we have devised three routes for the different groups to all converge on Dean Hill for the hill climb at 10:30, followed by a cafe stop at Dandy’s Ford. Those wishing to take part in the Hill Climb competition should make sure that they arrive at the HQ at the foot of the hill by 10am to sign on and collect race numbers - a direct route is included below for which there will be no nominated leader.  There is no guarantee that Groups A to C will arrive in time for riders to take part in the Hill Climb competition.

Riding with Us:  All riders are required to read “Riding with Us” and those attending their first clubrun should complete the Sotonia CC New Rider Introduction Form which includes a Parental Consent Form for riders under the age of 18.

Route 1 - A Group (lots of hills!) 88km / 54 Miles to Dandy's Ford
Download Route GPX





Route 2 - B Group 65km / 40 Miles to Dandy’s Ford
Download Route GPX





Route 3 - C Group (more direct) 52km / 33 miles to Dandy’s Ford
Download Route GPX





Route 4 - Direct route to the Hill Climb and Dandy's Ford
Download Route GPX

This route is self-led with no designated leader.

Nick Austin breaks Sotonia 100 mile club record

Sotonia member and long distance rider, Nick Austin recently rode the BDCA 100, breaking the club record and making British Best All Rounder (BBAR) standard. Nick rode to a time of 3 hours 53 minutes and 23 seconds, beating the time of Stuart Martingale of  3:54:15 set in 2007. Here's how it went in his words: "I entered the BDCA 100 last season. It would have been my 3rd 100 mile TT, having done my first and second 100m TTs last year as well. However after a three hour drive to the headquarters they decided they would cancel it, due to poor weather, so I turned round a came home! Luckily this year wasn’t a repeat, and actually conditions were near perfect – around 18 degrees, sunny, with a slight southerly wind.

The BDCA is a fast 100 mile course, as I found out. Having done the National 100m TT on the Bentley course earlier in the year, which is quite a lumpy bumpy course with a very pitted uneven section of road at the top end, the BDCA is flat by comparison, and on smooth concrete. Flat, that is, until you hit what is affectionately known as “Concrete Mountain” – a 5 mile or more uphill section at about 20 miles and 70 miles. First time it isn’t too bad, as your legs are fresh, but second time around it seems to go on for forever, as you watch your average speed slowly drop.

I had a few goals for this race – to beat my 100m time of 4.17 from the National to improve my BBAR average (as I’d already done a 50m TT and a 12 hour TT this season). Secondly, having just turned 40 and being a veteran (a scary concept), I knew a 4 hour time would get the club veteran record, and then I had a final target of the club record of 3.54. Having done a 1 51 for a 50 earlier in the year I knew this was a possibility, but frankly a 100 is a strange beast, and it’s a long distance over which anything can happen.

I went out just below a pace I knew I could probably sustain and because of the weather conditions I was still putting out an average of 26mph (I needed 25.7 for a time of around 3:54). I finished the first 50 in just over 1 hour 54, so I knew I needed around a 1:59 for the next 50, or a shade over 25 mph.

About 55 miles in the first signs of fatigue started to kick in, and Concrete Mountain was a bit of a grind. A tractor in the road followed by a long line of cars, traffic at the roundabout and a red light didn’t help either. The 3rd 25 was done in about 1 hour 1 minute, and I fell slightly short of my target time.

I knew I’d have to push for the last 25, which frankly was pretty hard going. It’s a long distance to push when you’re legs are feeling it. With 10 miles to go it was touch and go, but I pushed on, grimaced and dug really deep. The last section was thankfully more down than up, and the wind seemed favourable. With a good push I finished in 3:53:23. I had so little left in the tank that I struggled to ride the mile back to HQ, averaging about 5 mph!

The upside was also that, not only did I manage the BBAR, but I also averaged just over 25 mph across the 3 events (1:51 for the 50, 3 53 for the 100, 271 miles for the 12 hour). That one is definitely going on the wall when it comes in the post. All in all a cracking end to probably the best season I’ve had on a bike. I seem to be peaking as a veteran!"

Nick Austin