Simon Wessex CX Rnd 9 Oxford_IMG_0288

Oxford Brookes University was this week’s venue for another fine day’s racing in the autumn sunshine. Overnight rain had made little impact on the conditions for a course that like last year, relied heavily on laps of sportsfields for possibly the flatest parcours of the season. What it lacked in elevation however it made up for with a large tiger infested wooded section as riders fleeing it’s  muddy centre bore the cuts and bloodied arms that resembled such an attack – not to mention some blood curdling screams emanating from that dark place! And if the beast didn’t get you, the super sticky mud and leaves combo that seems unique to this course would do. Many a rider came running out carrying a bike that was either too clogged for wheels to turn or had dropped a chain.

Lining up for Sotonia and ready to take on the beast in the woods were Phil Connell, Simon Guard, Jon Dudley, John Phillips and Tom Budden. The vets race saw Phil take up the charge but he was slowly reeled in by Simon who then surged ahead for the first time this season to take first Sotonia rider (42nd out of 121 riders). John and Jon also had their customary tussle before Jon D managed to make a gap on the flat sections with his TT skills. In the seniors, Tom rode well again to 29th place – especially so with a hangover to cure!

Many thanks to Jon Dudley’s wife Ann and Simon for the truly delicious post race cakes and chocolate brownies.

Next sunday it’s Sotonia’s turn to host our race at Eastleigh – so hope to see many of you there… possibly not tigers though.


Jez Hart’s race pics are here

Full results are here