It was another successful day’s racing for Sotonia last sunday at the second of VC Venta’s Park & Ride 2015 crit race series at Winchester, with a 4th place in cat 4 and 6th place in the cat 3 race – well done everyone!

From the 4th cat race, Jonathan Hall writes: “On rising to see slithers of blue sky I duly slapped on the factor 50 and cycled to the P&R. This kind of set the tone for my day, as it decided to chuck it down for the duration of the race! Anyway, Sotonia had three riders in the field, myself, Paul Ransom and Dave Baxter, who all got into the front six of the race from the off, and then took turns in setting a brisk pace in the early stages. Unfortunately, my legs weren’t feeling fantastic so I wasn’t able to pull for long, and the fast early pace that Dave helped set, meant that he and the rest of the field lost contact with our leading group in the middle stages of the race. All this meant that Paul was taking more than his share on the front, and when James Donovan from Portsmouth North End CC launched a stinging attack nobody could (or was prepared) to cover it. This left five riders going for 2nd to 6th place, and soon the other lead group riders started to put in attacks, although these were always quickly shut down.

Whilst my lack of legs meant I was never going to attempt an attack, I was able to hang on to the group in the hope that I might nick a place or two in the final sprint, or at worst I’d finish 6th and get enough points to take me to cat 3. However, it all came to premature end when I frustratingly got a rear puncture just as we were heading into the bottom corner with four laps to go.

This left four riders to contest the finale and when James Fulcher from Portsdown Hill CC cracked on the penultimate lap, Paul was in with a great chance of taking 2nd and getting the 8 points he needed for his cat 3. Unfortunately the other two riders were too strong and Paul came in a very respectable 4th, leaving us both looking for 2 more points at the next outing.”

Paul Ransom: “From the start I basically sat on the front with Jonathan on my wheel doing the occasional turn, then the rain started so I dropped back to take the corners slow then James Donovan went off the front and no one chased so it left three of us trying to chase him down. With no luck it came to the final lap and having sitting on the front I didn’t have the legs so therefore couldn’t sprint but still pretty happy with 4th!”

In the 3rd cat race, James Peckham was also successful: “My race went well, I missed the break but finished 6th overall. It was a hard race, nothing went until about half way through. Then Matt downie of DHC got a gap with an Exeter rider. Andy Gough of VC Venta, an Eden veranda rider and Blazing saddles rider chased. No one else was chasing, three of them had strong teammates blocking and slowing so I decided to bridge on my own. Got so close to the leaders, but they started working together. I got passed by a Cotswold rider but managed to hold off the pack, and the leaders who lapped the pack! One of the riders in the lead group was a lap down from the start, so I placed ahead of him!”


Road race and Sotonia Crit coming up

Next up is the Sotonia Summer Road Race at Owlsebury this Sunday – good luck to everyone riding!

We’re also looking forward to the Sotonia Criterium Races at Winchester Park & Ride on Sunday 9th August…

[button color=”#ffffff” background=”#f2594b” size=”large” src=”″ target=”_blank”>″]Enter Sotonia Crit online here[/button]