First impressions were that warm, sunny evening weather felt very odd in contrast to the last cross race six whole months ago. A field of 58 lined up for round 3 of this summer series, including four Sotonia riders dusting off the team bus and their cross bikes: Phil Wilks (who finished a fine 11th place last week), Phil Connell, Jon Dudley and Jez Hart, with a updated course from last week that was still pretty brutal. Using most of Goldwell park in Newbury, the fast course snaked its way round the lower grass sections before climbing the hill into a wooded section, then an all too brief, descent full of fast corners and the occasional molehill.

As the dust settled on the usual mental first lap, Jez found himself in 10th position, closely followed by Phil Wilks and Phil Connell. after a couple more frenetic laps, the gap between them seemed to be stretching before Phil C fell off the pace after a spill. Several groups formed and it was a good idea to keep in touch with riders ahead as there was always one behind trying to bridge across. Jez managed to swap positions a few times with his group and eventually finished in 15th place. Phil W next across the line in 20th, followed by Phil C (25th) with Jon, regretting his earlier weights session at the gym in 46th!

UK champ, Steve James of Hargroves Cycles, rocked up at the back of the grid on his mountain bike just before the start and swiftly tore through the field to win.

This is a great event by Banjo Cycles – looking forward to next week!

Pics courtesy of Kinesis.t2


Super cool F1 style live tracker and results here:…

There’s even a race video!

More pics:…