Last weekend (9th and 10th April) was a very busy one for the Sotonia racers.

James Peckham and Ben Scott-Munden went to Hillingdon on the Saturday to race on the 0.94 mile closed road cycling circuit. James finished in the bunch in 3/4 Cat race, and Ben took an excellent 12th in the E/1/2 race, continuing a string of good results after moving up to 2nd Cat this year. James said…

“Rolled in with the bunch, couldn’t really move up later in the race. I put in a cheeky dig mid way but wasn’t going to stay away. Fun circuit!”

Dan Edwards had a chance to catch up with James and Ben whilst going through roadworks on the M3, but was instead heading up to Newmarket for an early season blast on the fast E2/25 time trial course, and getting a 25 mile PB of 53:56 with hopes of going even faster in the next couple of weeks.

“I made the journey up to ride the fast E2/25 (or 25.2!!) course. Conditions were good with a circa 10mph headwind for the run out to the turn which meant a lovely tailwind assisted return. I didn’t have much in mind for the race, I mainly wanted to get a fast 25 in the bag and test the legs a bit. I decided that I would press on hard up to the turn, knowing the return leg would be much easier, sadly I got a bit carried away and went out way too hard. I was in a pretty bad way by about 8 miles but managed to hang on and reach the turn at an average of about 26mph. The return leg was a blast, and I averaged 30.1mph for 12.5 miles back to the finish – provisional result is 53:56 which is a bittersweet PB – I lost about 5 seconds at the turn stopping for a couple of cars but mainly my terrible pacing meant that I really could/should have done better. Will I ever learn to keep a lid on it in the first few miles?! Next race is another 25 on another fast course (and one I know from last year) so hopefully all going well I’ll be able to shave a bit off that time.”

Jez Hart and Tobie Charlton both journeyed up to Surrey to enter the Gorrick MTB race at Frimley Green, both racing in the Open category and finishing inside the top 10. Jez reports…

“Tobie and me rocked up at the race with 10 minutes to spare. So no pre-ride but a really good course full of peaty twists in the woods, climbs and sketchy descents. Tobie got 6th, I was 9th.”


Matteo Charlie Ichino hopped across to the Isle of Wight to ride the third and final round of the SpyVelo Cyclocross Cup. Matteo finished 4th in Round 1 and 5th in Round 2.

“On the island it was tough! Wight Mountain and Spy Velo were in contention for the teams classification, so they were ganging up hard, getting me in the crossfire (this is me trying to find excuses). I got 4th senior, 5th overall after a disappointing sprint against the first of the V40s. I think I still got third overall, but the official standings are not out yet. Overall it was a good series, and there is words going around that they might host a Wessex league event next season.”

Ed Slot was on holiday in Devon and decided to make the most of the trip by entering a local road race…

“I managed to get into the Plymouth Corinthians RR at Modbury (after being 10th reserve). Great course that really suited me but very windy conditions. The race was going well for me until someone crashed in front of me around 15 miles into the race, luckily I avoided crashing myself but I had to stop and then after chasing back on, was held up by another crash. I did my best to get back into the bunch but wasn’t gaining any ground so pulled out after an unplanned 10 mile TT a minute behind the race. Winner was James Hywel-Davies, Andrew Lockwood (from So’ton Uni) came 2nd – both riders finished around 30 seconds ahead of a very whittled-down bunch. Not the result I hoped for but happy I raced and that I didn’t crash.”

For Phil Wilks, Sunday morning was the Sotonia Hill Climb. The sunny weather helped attract a great turnout of 22 riders, with about a further 20 gathered at the top of Dean Hill strategically positioned to see the maximum amount of pain…

“One of my goals for the year was be beat my PB of 2:10, and I’d done 2:13 in training the previous week so everything was going to plan, but there was a pretty strong headwind so I decided that this probably would have to wait until the Autumn event. Gemma (my wife) was also riding the event, which was lucky as 5 minutes before my start I realised my back tyre was flat and informed her that I’d be borrowing her wheel which would be promptly returned. Somehow I managed to pull a 2:04 out of the bag which I was very pleased with to say the least, and I believe equals the course record set by Paul Double (VC Venta) in 2015.”