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On a fast course at the War Memorial Park in Basingstoke, we were treated to strong winds and sunshine, where it didn’t seem to have rained as much as the south coast. Grassy straights made for a quick pace, while wooded technical and BMX sections with slick, compact mud made for some pretty challenging corners, best negotiated foot out, speedway style.

The combined Vet/Junior/Women’s race attracted another huge field of 97 riders and with the course dry it was a fast lap. Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) continued his winning streak and led almost from start to finish despite a tangle with the course marking tape – with the wind gusting strongly, a few rear mechs managed to suck in unwanted tape.

Joe Andrews of Fareham Wheelers (regular at the Thursday night training sessions at Southampton Sports Centre) also continued his form by not only leading the junior race but running in the top ten of the overall race.

Sotonia fielded a record turnout for recent years of eight riders with six in the vets race – John Phillips, Jon Dudley, Phil Connell , Simon ‘Brucie’ Guard, Martin ‘Mr Mud’ Ward and Jez Hart.

The Senior race had a much larger field than usual too, with Dave Belcher and James Peckham flying the flag, James in his first ever cross race, put in a great performance, scything through the field after starting at the back of the grid and seemingly unphased by the technical bits (the odd tree excepted!)

Great to see so many in the club giving cross a go and loving it!

Seniors (54 starters)

James Peckham 31st, David Belcher 46th

Vets (97 starters)

Phil Connell 23rd, Simon Guard 32nd, Jez Hart 42nd, Jon Dudley 48th, John Phillips 65th, Martin Ward 89th