It may have started wet but that didn’t put the riders off for what turned out to be a great day’s racing in our Summer Criterium at Winchester Park & Ride circuit last Sunday.

The youth turnout was dominated by Sotonia riders, who made up 25 of the 72 youngsters – the total being a 22% increase from last year and proof that while senior race numbers may be stagnating in recent times, the future is bright with so many kids getting involved.

In the U8s all our riders rode confidently in the wet conditions, Fred finishing 3rd boy and Tilly winning the girls race with Tess 2nd and Eve 3rd.

The U10 race was nearly at full capacity with 22 riders with our top finishers Tom in 6th boy and Skye 2nd placed girl.

There were 16 riders in a closely fought and tactical U12 race where working as a team really helped in the strong headwind on the uphill finish straight. Charlie and George pairing up to attack and break free with Sam and Iz sharing the work together just behind. George won his sprint battle with Charlie in a reversal of last weeks city centre crit.

The U14s featured two of our riders – Ethan and Louis who both gave it their all.

In the senior races Gemma Wilks finished 6th, with Ryan Durrant 8th, Joseph Wynne 9th and Jamie Doel 11th in the 4th cats.

In the 3rd cat race, new Sotonia member, Kouros Driscoll was looking to make moves when a minor spill on the sharp bottom corner put him out of contention. In the end, it was another new club member, Andrew Gardiner who took the sprint win after strong work on the front by chairman, Phil Wilks and a breakaway move that nearly stuck, initiated by Patrick Stumpf.

Big thanks to everyone who raced, supported or helped out.