It was a trio of Sotonia wins for Ollie, Red and Ed in the first VC Venta Summer Criterium of the year at the Winchester Park & Ride circuit last weekend. There was plenty of exciting racing and early in the day, six of our youth riders enjoyed themselves with a victory for Ollie Graham in the U8 boys.

Red Walters sprinted to a win in the 4th cats (and 3rd cat promotion), he told us about his race: “I heard that breaks stay away at the PnR so I made sure I was at the front from the get go. There was a break of five in the first lap which I managed to get in. The break lasted only a few laps due to the wind and because some guys kept attacking the break. Despite many attacks, none actually stayed more than half a lap. Coming up to the bell lap, I gave an effort which put me into fourth wheel, halfway down the back straight, a couple of guys attacked and I followed which gave a small gap to the rest of the bunch. I launched my sprint in a good position and was making ground on the others, then one of my feet un-clipped, but I managed to still take the win by a couple of cm.”

Russell Speight finished 7th and Joffrey Carlier was 12th. The women’s race featured Angela Burnikell, finishing 4th in her first road race.

To follow that, Ed Slot then won the 3rd cat race for Sotonia! Ed: “It was a very fast race from the start, when our group of five formed we were all working really well together. About 40 minutes in, we all eased up a bit (to my relief). I attacked with a lap to go just before the top corner, got a bit of a gap and held it to the finish.”

Jonathan Hall was the next finisher for us with 7th place after a puncture cost Andy Mackay another top 10 finish. Jon: “I got caught behind a clip-in crash on the startline so was way down the line as it strung out over first few laps. I could see the head of the race disappearing and thought that was it, but just kept hanging on the wheel in front. With crashes and people popping, we became a group of nine behind the lead five. The lead group came past and we were told not to jump on. Our 8 became 7 after Andy’s safety pin incident, then on the last lap the guy behind me tried to bomb me on the top corner, but only ended up crashing and also taking the rider behind out. That left five going down the back straight so I sat in until the last 50 metres and then moved to the front so was first into the bottom corner. Then just pedalled as fast as my little old legs would go and managed to hold on for 7th.”

Thanks to VC Venta for putting on another great event!


Sotonia Summer Criterium 1

Just three weeks now until the next episode at Winchester P&R with Sotonia’s first of two crit race events on Sunday 19th June. Online entry is available here.