Beautiful sunny conditions for the Winchester City Criterium races on Sunday saw an incredible win for Jonathan Hall on his road race debut. Sotonia had two riders lining up in the 4th cats – Ben Hames and Jonathan Hall and the pace was high from the off as a lead group of six riders including Jonathan, got a gap on a second chase group of similar size containing Ben. Behind, there were quickly riders all over the stunning yet challenging city centre course that featured a long uphill start/finish straight before a series of technical turns and cobbled sections past the cathederal.

Joe Hickerton of Eden Veranda led the front group for much of the race, seeming strong and happy to bear the workload. Jon showing great race sense for a newcomer, followed any attacks, cannily sitting on the wheels and leaving the sprint prime to others, saving for his big move which came at the end of the finish straight with two laps to go. Jon surged through the top corner first and never looked back as he attacked off the front. Leading by a couple of seconds for the bell lap the chasers were unable to reel him in and Jon won by five bike lengths. Ben rode bravely to stay with the second group, dropping back after he crashed – losing his front wheel on the chicane. Credit to Ben though for getting back in the race and finishing a worthy 17th.

Many thanks to the organisers, Winchester City Council and VC Venta for helping to put on a really top notch event.

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