Steven James (Hargroves Cycles) continued from where he left of last week by winning today’s race on a lovely sunny afternoon on the disused golf course close to the M3 motorway at the Eastleigh course.
Steven was in a strong group of five riders but his strength took him to the front by mid distance and he soon built on this lead to the bell.
The Sotonia promoted event saw a very strong entry ride uphill towards the course proper where five were already clear at the turn. Along with Steven were Crispin Doyle and Matt Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles), Andy Hargroves (Felt Colbornes Hargroves RT) and Michael Cotty (Wheelbase Cannondale).
Matt Macdonald (Hargroves Cycles) was unlucky to be knocked off his bike at the start, he quickly re-mounted and although well behind set about picking off riders lap on lap until he was up to 7th at the bell.
At mid race James and Cotty were together with Doyle at 10secs, Andy at 17secs and his brother Matt at 28secs. Richard Mardel (Felt Colborne Hargroves RT) was next up.
All the other places stayed the same with only the time changing. Just after this James made his move and managed to drop Cotty by 10secs, Doyle was third at 15secs and Andy Hargroves was nearly one minute back.
At the bell James was clear and he rode around the last lap on his own for his second Wessex League win in two weeks. Cotty was second 10secs down.
The earlier combined vet/junior/ women race saw Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) claim his fifth straight win of the season. Crispin lead from start to finish, he had Steve Davis (Hargroves Cycles) for company for a lap of laps and then Mike Simpson (GS Henley) got past but he couldn’t catch Doyle.
Keith Sheridan (Cotswold Veldrijden) and Sean Williams (Wightlink Offshore) were once again locked together. Joseph Andrews (Fareham Wheelers) was the leading Junior and Tamina Oliver (Team CTC) the leading woman.
Doyle continued stretching his lead over Simpson and was now at 45secs, Davis was at 1min09secs with Sheridan and Williams at 1min22secs.
Joseph Andrews was clear of second junior Cameron Thompson (Andover Wheelers) until he dropped his chain, he managed to sort the problem and stay ahead of Thompson by 8secs but the two juniors were closer than they have been all season. Joseph held onto his lead claiming his fifth straight win of the season.
Tamina Oliver was clear women’s winner in her first cross race of the new season in her defence of the title she won last year.
Elliott Lassiter once again showed his strength by taking the youth race win, he started strong and extended his lead throughout the race.
1st Steven James Hargroves Cycles
2nd Michael Cotty Wheelbase Cannondale @10secs
3rd Crispin Doyle Hargroves Cycles @13secs
4th Andy Hargroves Felt Colbornes Hargroves RT
5th Matt Hargroves Hargroves cycles
6th Richard Mardel Felt Colbornes Hargroves RT
7th Matt Macdonald Hargroves Cycles
8th Daniel Bell Ellmore Factory Racing
1st Crispin Doyle Hargroves Cycles 39mins 50secs
2nd Mike Simpson GS Henley 45secs
3rd Steve Davis Hargroves Cycles 1mins 09secs
4th Keith Sheridan Cotswold Veldrijden @1min 19secs
5th Sean Williams Wightlink Offshore @1min 21secs
1st Woman Tamina Oliver Team CTC
1st Junior Joseph Andrews Fareham Wheelers
1st Youth Elliott Lassiter Cotswold Veldrijden
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British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.