Are You Interested In Cycle Coaching?

The VC Venta coaching team will be meeting up on Monday 17th February to plan the sessions and coaching structure for this coming year and beyond.

If you’d like to get involved, contact Toby Leyland on or come along to find out more.

Monday 17th February 7:30 pm at the Golden Lion, Alresford Road, Winchester.

2019 Coaching Review VC Venta

Here’s a round up of the GO Ride coaching activity from 2019 as presented at the Club AGM.


  • 18% increase YoY in total numbers 239 v 205 in 2018
  • Gross revenue approx. £3200
  • Delivered 16 sessions across 3 seasons
  • Age range 5 to 16 years
  • 2 newly qualified Level 1 coaches
  • Newly Level 2 MTB qualified coach
  • Delivered Coaching Award for young volunteers
  • Delivered multiple dual coach sessions to improve quality
  • Used Expert riders to increase complexity and variety (thanks to Gray Surman)
  • Used young volunteers to inspire riders and assist coaches (thanks to George Whittle, Chrissie Slot and Harper Towns)
  • Used coach led racing in Group 5 to raise the complexity and quality


Sessions running near to full capacity for the event location and available coaching volunteers:

  • Spring 81 riders
  • Summer 75 riders
  • Autumn 83 riders

This equates to 239 delivered sessions of which approx. 150 are unique riders, so this makes Go-Ride the largest section of the Club.


Thanks to the coaching team for their dedication, commitment, enthusiasm and inspiration. Special thanks to Monica Hampson for looking after the co-ordination and being in charge of administration.

Coaching Team in 2019:

  • Chris Hughes
  • James Cocker
  • Malcolm Cross (CX)
  • Mark Berry
  • Raf Izak
  • Richard Sambrook Smith
  • Simon Cable
  • Steve Cox
  • Stuart Gilmour
  • Tansy Gill


  • CAYV but limited participation from 15-18 year olds despite contacting 15 local schools and DoE groups
  • Organised Level 1 coaching course at Princes Mead school but no participants from VC Venta


  • Site safety at P&R, multiple occasions of travellers on site, high risk to proceed with coaching, but to cancel is also not a long term option
  • Car drivers, learners, etc using the site and driving onto the circuit at the time of coaching.
  • Bikes poorly maintained (e.g. no brake lever) and parents wanting to continue.

Opportunities for 2020:

  • MTB coaching e.g. Gorrick Winter series, battle in the bowl
  • More volunteering opportunities
  • Involve race section members on a more frequent basis
  • Exchange kit/bikes
  • Vets and senior riders coaching
  • New Go Ride Head coach for 2021
  • Improve club delivered sessions for riders bridging the gap from U16 to Youth (u18).


Thanks to the club and committee for supporting the Go-Ride initiative and hoping to continue building in 2020.



January 2020 Results and Overall GC Position

The recent cold, dark and often wet weather deterred many of you who have signed up to this year’s challenge, from braving the elements to tackle the Kilmeston knockout segment for January.

In the men’s competition Ben Gibbs put in an almost KoM-matching (and frankly incredible) time of 05:03 to secure top spot and a full 15 GC points in the process. James Cocker and Christopher Purver came a creditable second and third place respectively with very similar times times.

In the women’s competition Izzy Wild rode without challenge to the top spot with a blistering 06:25, enjoying the full 15 GC points as a result.

Current GC positions all match the aforementioned results as this is month #01 of our challenge. Will February’s segment see Ben Gibbs reign supreme again or can anyone challenge his lead on the Northington classic? Will anyone from our women’s membership look to give Izzy Wild some competition?

Click the link here to see if you are up to the job:

Results and position for January segment challenge and current GC ranking

Position Name Time Points
1 Ben Gibbs 05:03 15
2 James Cocker 05:29 12
3 Christopher Purver 05:35 10
4 Chris Hughes 06:28 8
5 Jim Cascarini 06:39 6
6 Richard Smith 06:54 5
7 Andy Watkins 07:16 4


Position Name Time Points
1 Izzy Wild 06:25 15


February Segment of the Month

February 2020 brings us much closer to home, to enjoy one of the classic short climbs in the Winchester area. This is definitely one for the ‘power’ climbers. A steep, unrelenting but relatively short ascent from Northington village. This year’s VCV challenge segment starts immediately as you turn off the main road and asks you to push on through the small descent that preludes the climb-proper, easing off safely within 20 yards of the junction line after you have crested the summit.

The link to the segment is here:


VCV Park & Ride Crit Series 2020 – Entries Now Open

VC Venta is again organising a three race series at South Winchester Park and Ride on alternate Sunday’s during April and May 2020. Online entries are now open via the British Cycling events page.

The park and ride crit series races, quite apart from providing exciting racing in their own right, are ideal preparation for the higher profile Winchester Criterium and the brand new Southampton Criterium that follow in June.

Each round will consist of youth races from Youth E (Under 8) right through to Youth A (Under 16). Once again we are committed to a Women’s Only only race as well as separate 2/3 category and 4th category races.

New for this year will be Masters 40+ and Masters 50+ races. Each round will be packed full of exciting racing.

There will be prizes and BC ranking points available at each round as well as a separate prize for the overall series winner in each category.


Your Velo Club Venta membership renewal is due on 1st January 2020 and costs £25 per adult. Discounts available for couples living at the same address, and Junior membership (under 18 years) and Students (anyone in full-time education) are free of charge.


Your annual membership fee goes towards promoting cycling in Winchester and running the coaching, training, rides, races and events throughout the year. Importantly, this include the junior’s Go-Ride programme which has been particularly successful in recent years.



VCV Summer Road Race – Entries Now Open

VC Venta Summer Road Race is set for Sunday 21st June 2020 and online entries are now open.

The race is classified as Regional A and is open to category 2/3 riders, covering 105km / 66miles over 5 laps of the circuit around the Stockbridge Down route. There’s some rolling terrain and exciting, challenging climbs. The race includes a neutralised section from the race HQ to the top of Winton Hill (start/finish point)

  • Start Time: 10 am
  • Race Distance: 66 miles
  • Race Category 2/3
  • Event HQ: Test Valley School, Roman Road, Stockbridge, SO22 6HA

Online entry is now open at British Cycling.


Can you help at the Women’s Road Race?

With the race season rapidly approaching, it is time to ask for help and support from our Club Members.

This year, in addition to the men’s Summer Road Race at Stockbridge, we are hosting a Women’s Road Race for 2/3/4 category riders (including Juniors) on the Crawley Circuit.

We need your help to fill the roles shown below. For the driving roles if you do not have BC membership, BC Bronze membership can be arranged by the club.

It is only with your volunteer support that we can run these events. Refreshment’s will be provided to all helpers free of charge.

The race details are as follows:

Sunday 22nd March 2019
Start Time: 10.30 am (help required 9.30 am- 1 pm)
Race Distance: 42 miles
Event HQ: Littleton Village Hall


Course setup / Take down (min 2 people)
Course setup / Take down (min 2 people)
Signing on
Driver for Chief Comms (must be BC member)
Driver for Comms 1 (must be BC member)
Driver for Comms 3 (must be BC member)
Lead Car 1 (must be BC member)
Lead Car 2 (must be BC member)
Assistant Judge 1
Neutral Service Driver (must be BC member)
Neutral Service Person
Red Flag Marshall 1 - Three Maids Roundabout
Red Flag Marshall - spare
Refreshments at HQ
First Aid Cover 1

If you are planning on riding the event, please can you nominate a family member/friend to help on your behalf.

If you haven’t performed a particular role before don’t worry you will be given all the information you need.

Please respond with any offer of help to Michele Ward on

If you would be interested in sponsoring this event or providing prizes it would be greatly appreciated.


VCV Women’s Race 2020 – Entries Now Open

VC Venta is delighted to host this exciting Women’s Road Race for the second year, on the Sunday 22nd March.

Organised by our very own Michele Ward, the race is for Women’s 2|3|4 Categories, and new new racers are encouraged.

The race covers 42 miles in just over 7.5 laps of the course, around the Crawley Circuit, just outside Winchester. check the course here

Race HQ is at Littleton Village Hall, The Hall Way , Littleton , Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 6QL.

Positions will be given for all finishers (not just top 10).

A short neutralised section of approximately 0.8 miles, will take riders from the race HQ at Littleton Village Hall, onto the course, where the race will begin.

Entries are now open on the British Cycling website.


Pudding Power – A Time Trial with a Difference

If you missed out on this year’s Christmas Pudding Ride, here’s a few pictures to get you in the mood for next year’s event!

The VC Venta Christmas Pudding Ride is an annual Time Trial event that anyone can win. Rather than it being all about speed, with the TT you need to predict your time over the 10 mile course and the nearest is the winner – plus extra points for fancy dress.

Congratulations to Rob Howett and Darren Sleeth for their win and just 5 seconds out with their prediction.

Thanks to Nick Tarmey for the excellent photos and to all the riders who turned out in such filthy weather!


January Segment of the Month

January 2020 sees the start of the new and updated VC Venta Segment Challenge.

We kick things off with one for the ‘Rouleurs’, a modest 1.7 mile effort with limited climbing but some deceptively sharp ramps to keep you honest. There is enough mix in gradient to offer something for both climbers and sprinters alike. Start your effort from the small square at the North of Kilmeston village and press on uphill, finishing just prior to the junction with Wheely Down Farm lane.

The link to the segment is here: