And so to round 10 and the motor racing circuit at Thruxton or more precisely, the carpark. Today however, the grass field was covered from end to end with markers and tape on the tightest, grassiest, switchbackiest, hill repeatiest course of the season.

After observing a minute silence for the sad passing of cross legend, Geoff Shergold. The vets field of 80 riders blasted the 200 metres to the first corner and the beginning of the “Maze of Great Dizzyness” named due to the mind boggling number of switchbacks within switchbacks within… well you get the idea. And that was pretty much the course, long laps, repeated dead stop corners followed by tough climbs up the hillside, a few off camber turns to get you sliding and a set of barriers thrown into the mix.

Riding the Vets race for Sotonia CC was Jez Hart, Phil Connell, John Phillips and Martin Ward. Phil and Jez started pretty well, too well in Jez’s case because after catching and passing Phil, he slowly realised that his legs couldn’t cash that particular cheque. He latched onto the next group of five and yoyo’d off the back of that till the final lap when he managed to reel two in before the line in 34th, with Phil 28th. John Phillips was our next finisher (50th) with Martin bringing up the rear guard (75th). The race itself was not won by Crispin Doyle for once, who told me he didn’t mind rubbing shoulders with the leaders but was too polite passing a group of back markers and ended up getting delayed (not sure I’d tell that to Pete Hargroves if I was him!). Lewis King, Beeline Cycles took the win with Mike Simpson of GS Henley second.

In the senior race, our man was Darren Sell (pictured) – another Sotonia convert to cross in his first race! And he looked to be riding strongly as we cheered him on to 24th place. The winner was Andy Hargroves with a touching tribute to Geoff in a race I’m sure he would have loved to watch.

Jez Hart’s race snaps are here

Graham Robins’ proper pics are here