After last years successful first hosting of a Wessex League Cyclo-cross event, this years event was even bigger and better. Nearly 200 riders of all ages came to race on a beautiful autumn sunny day.

Six Sotonia riders lined up for the Vets race – Jon Chapman, John Phillips, Phil ‘Squadron Leader’ Connell, Simon Guard, Martin Ward and Jez Hart in a huge field of 88. The course was changed a bit this year and featured a long uphill sprint start to spread things out before heading into the wooded area beside the old golf course. The route then twisted its way down the hill with plenty of technical turns, banks and switchbacks, before a long climb back up the grassed area, through a sand bunker (which caught plenty of riders out) then turning back into the woods once more.

The race quickly thinned out with riders spread around the course, and was won by Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) claiming his fifth straight win of the season. Phil led the charge for Sotonia finishing in 25th place. Jez Hart came in 38th and despite a crash and then puncture on the last lap forcing him to run most of it, Simon Guard managed 40th place.

The Sotonia Vets finishing places:

25th    Philip Connell
38th    Jez Hart
40th    Simon Guard
44th    John Philips
56th    Jon Chapman
77th    Martin Ward

In the Senior race, Steven James (Hargroves Cycles) continued from where he left of last week by winning again. Steven was in a strong group of five riders but his strength took him to the front by mid distance and he soon built on this lead to the bell. Dave Belcher racing for Sotonia in the field of 32 riders, finished 30th.

Here’s a link to a few pics of the Senior race.