Despite the Summer holidays meaning many of our youth riders were absent, there was still a good turnout for us in the younger age categories at last weekend’s final Sotonia Summer Criterium of the year at the Winchester Park & Ride Circuit. In the U8 boys, Oskar Ciaramella was 3rd with Ella Ridgment and Poppy Carline 1st and 2nd in the girls race. In the U10s Sam Ridgment was also on the podium in 2nd place with adopted rider, Olivia Allman and Evelyn Mills taking 2nd and 3rd.

In the seniors, the 4th cat race saw the main bunch unusually staying together until the final lap when Nick Barber (Hart Evolution RT) powered away on the back straight to hold on for the win from Jordan Sewry (Casp Racing) and Neil Adlam (Andover Wheelers) with Sotonia’s Justin Menhenett in fourth place to cement his promotion to 3rd cat, junior Harry Parsons, 11th.

In the 3rd cats it was a case of another race, another lapped field for Tom Budden. After a cagey start, a group of three leapt clear of the bunch including Tom, Jed Webber (Andover Wheelers) and Kevin Bell (Langdale Lightweights RT). After a few more laps, the other two were unable to stay with Tom’s pace and cornering skills who went on to lap the field. Jed managed to stay away from the bunch for the last 20 minutes. In the final, the bunch sprint was also won by Tom with Sotonia’s Ben Hames 3rd, Russell Speight in 4th and Phil Godfrey 9th to top off a great team performance.

There was an unexpected twist in a women’s race that needed one more rider with the IRIS race team tempting Mel Mills away from her role at the sign-on desk to give it a go. The race itself was won by Becca Carter (Team WNT Pro Cycling) who lapped the field twice.