phil wilks wessex_cx rnd8 venta 2.11.14

A great turnout of 11 crossers for team Sotonia at Sparsholt on Sunday. In the big vets field of 116, we had Phil Connell, Simon Guard, Jon Dudley, John Phillips, Martin Ward, Mike McLachlan and Rob Tomlinson. In the seniors, Phil Wilks, Tom Budden and cross virgin, Neils Langhout. Not forgetting young George Connell in the U12’s race.

Overnight rain meant the course at Sparsholt College was going to be a technical challenge. A big 1.4 mile lap resulted in just four laps for many. The course itself was similar to last year with a few more ‘wiggly bits’ to make it just a bit tougher. But most people seemed to have enjoyed their race even though the vast majority parted company with their bikes at least once or twice! The real killer feature for many was running through the gravel pit, closely followed by the uphill chicane just as you were accelerating down a hill after the finish line.

Phil Connell once again led the charge in the vets race, finishing 30th, Simon Guard, getting quicker each race in 33rd,  Jon Dudley 70th,  John Phillips 72nd, Mike McLachlan 88th and Martin Ward 98th.

In the seniors, Tom Budden was riding strongly in the top 20 before he snapped a brake cable and was unable to tie the flailing wire safely and forced to retire – better add electrical tape to the list of bizarre things to leave in the pits! Phil Wilks finished a fine 20th (his best Wessex League result to date). Neils also battled through his first race to 38th of 48 starters on the testing course – well done Neils!

Wessex race report and results:

Jez Hart’s pics are here

Julian Gee’s video of the vets race is here


simon guard
Simon Guard
Rob tomlinson
Rob Tomlinson