“Keep up the good work you’re doing”, urged Guest of Honour, Ray Hughes to members and friends of Sotonia Cycle Club, who gathered at the Masonic Hall in Chandler’s Ford for their Annual Dinner on February 5. “The bicycle is a great leveler, bringing together people of all ages, and from all walks of life. It is great to see your club supporting such a wide range of activities on two wheels,” added Mr. Hughes.

This was the thrust of Hughes’s message, given before he presented of the club awards for 2015. A National champion at several cycling discipline over a career spanning many years, Hughes also took part in the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney as a tandem pilot to disabled competitors.

A well-known figure among the dinner guests and a winner of a number of the club’s own race promotions, he expressed his delight in renewing old acquaintances before making the presentations.

Tom Budden, Jez Hart and John Phillips, club leaders in the growing field of cyclocross racing; Jonathan Hall, Niels Langhout and James Peckham who gained club standards in various categories. Hall was also the Hill Climb champion, while Hart was awarded the Club Person of the Year trophy.

The club includes a number of tandem specialists, and it honoured two veteran teams, Mick Bradban and Penny Cossburn, and 83 year old Norman Harvey and Mary Corbett, for setting new club combined-age records.

The club awards not only its fastest members but also those who have performed frequently and consistently throughout the year. These included Wendy Knowlton, “Queen of the Mountain” in the Strava “fantasy league” competition, and in the Ladies’ Points Championship; her husband Ted Knowlton in the over-60s Points Championship;
But the largest hauls of silverware were taken home by Gawain Young from Winchester and Ladies Champion, Angela Burnikell, a sports massage therapist from Romsey, who between them collected six trophies and numerous other distinctions.

Club Champion for the first time was Dan Edwards from Romsey who has gone from novice to champion in only three seasons recording some very fast performances along the way and is now targeting some of Sotonia’s club records in the coming season which starts later this month.

Report by Bill Drabkin.