Race Team Developments For 2021

Supporting Success in 2021

VC Venta has a successful race team that has riders competing in different formats and age ranges both locally, nationally and internationally. Historically this has been focussed on Road and CX and has targeted resources at the U23 team. With 2020 acting as a catalyst for change the VC Venta Team in 2021 is looking at a broader definition of “race team”, in short the club wants more people to get involved, be engaged and feel part of a wider Team.

So if you are interested in riding a 10, 25,or 12h time trial, competing in a crit, riding in a road race, tackling the Raid Pyrenees, hoping to do the haute Route, completing the King Alfred Way we want you to feel and be part of the VC Venta Team. It doesn’t matter if you are a youth riding competing for the first time or a veteran challenging yourself we want you to wear the VC Venta kit with pride and look out for other riders in the team.

Whilst we are in lockdown, a number of events seem a long way away. However, we have an exciting E-team entered into Zwift events starting this week, a number of riders are in the midst of training for their spring and summer events, so you are not alone and we want, as a club, to help keep you motivated during the process and have fun along the way.

If you are interested and would like more information please get in touch. In the meantime, we will be publishing details of events that riders have entered, club and team kit, details of training rides and more so you can start to connect with the VC Venta Team for 2021 and beyond.

Club Rides Paused Again

Club Rides Paused from Boxing Day

Sadly, with the change in Coronavirus Tiers from Boxing Day, we are forced to pause our Club rides again until the restrictions are lifted.

Hampshire goes into Tier 4 from Saturday, 26 December 2020, and the rules for exercise include only your own household bubble, on on your own with one other person, not the group of 6 that has allowed until now.

We will be in touch with members once we are able to resume rides.


January 20201 Strava Segment of the Month

January rolls around again and the VCV segment of the month challenge is back for its seventh edition in 2021. We have updated the name of the existing Strava club for this year, so if you previously signed up for 2020 you are all set and ready to go; please find the link below:


As a reminder, please check out the full rules of the competition here:


We see in the New Year with a local segment that sets an appropriate opening tone for the competition ahead. This is a short but snappy climb at just under a third of a mile in length but an average gradient of 9%.

The segment begins at the bottom of Cow Drove Hill, 25 yards from the main A3057 that runs through King’s Somborne village and is marked by the road sign on the left of the lane that identifies “OLD FROMANS FARM”.

The initial slight right-hand curve that passes between the houses at the bottom of the hill, gives way to an arrow straight climb that looms before you. The gradient ramps up immediately to around 13% and then continues to fluctuate between 8% and 11% for the section of road that remains in view.

Respite comes as you pass How Park lane on your left, signifying an easing of the gradient whilst the road curves gently to the left. You are now in the run-in to the finish line that marks the crest of the hill and will require an extra effort as you sprint for the line.

Take care with your approach from the main A3057, ensuring you don’t either cross oncoming traffic or encounter any cars that may appear at the last minute as they round the small curve in the road at the bottom of the hill. As always, please follow the rules of the road, along with any social distancing rules that may be in place at the time.

The link to the segment is here:




Synonymous with Christmas, the VC Venta Christmas Pudding Ride is set for Saturday 19th December 2020.

The Christmas Pudding Ride is a cycling Time Trial that anyone can win! It’s not about speed – just your ability to predict your time for the course. You simply register your estimated course time and then ride without a timing device – that means no watch, speedometer, phone, GPS etc.

The person, or team, nearest their predicted time wins a Christmas pudding, and plenty of kudos!

Registration Form

  • You can race on your own, in pairs (2up or tandem), but you need to come from the same household or support bubble
  • First prize is a Christmas Pudding! It goes to the person or team closest to their estimated time
  • Christmas fancy dress is not compulsory (and not a performance enhancer) but is encouraged!

Categories to be included as an option on the form are as follows:

  • Male
  • Female
  • Junior (U16)
  • 2up TT
  • Tandem

Here’s Everything You Need To Know

When: The Christmas Pudding ride is on Saturday 19th December.  and the first rider(s) will be off at 09.00 am. Riders will start at 1 minute intervals.

Registration: Advance registration is compulsory using the form below.

Closing date: Registration will close at 7 pm on Thursday, 17th December.

Fee: £5 per person for participants on the road and MTB routes. The Family Ride which is free of charge.

Where: Kings Worthy course,  P751/10. Please note, there will be NO HQ at King Charles Pub due to COVID restrictions.

Start location to be confirmed.

What: There are three route options:

1. Road Route – Kings Worthy P751 course.

Meet at the farm track opposite the King Charles Pub, 6 Lovedon Lane, Kings Worthy, Winchester SO23 7NU. Please note, there will be NO HQ at King Charles Pub.

Road Route

Meeting Point

2. MTB Route

Meet at the farm track opposite the King Charles Pub, 6 Lovedon Lane, Kings Worthy, Winchester SO23 7NU.

MTB Information Sheet

MTB Route

Meeting Point

3. Youth/Family Ride Route

Start point is the Tesco car park on Hookpit Farm Lane.

Family Ride information sheet

Family Ride Route

Volunteers Needed

If you are not riding, don’t forget we also need help with marshalling, timekeeping, setup etc. If you can help please add your name to the volunteers list and we will be in touch.

volunteers list


Get on Your Bike and Ride!

We are pleased to announce that starting on Sunday 6th December, the VC Venta clubs rides will recommence.

Due to COVID-19, there will be changes to the way these rides are organised so please read the following carefully.

  1. We will be running three different speed Sunday club rides as usual. Each group will have a maximum of 6 riders but if there are more than 6 people for a given speed, then multiple groups can be formed. For example, each 14, 16 and 18 rides could have 2 or more groups of 6.
  2. The Club 18 ride, 18 to 20+ mph, will depart from the car park in front of the Winchester Hotel on Sunday at 8:50 and the Club 14 ride, 14 to 15mph and the Club 16, 16 to 17mph, will depart at 9:00. The staggered start time will help reduce congestion and help keep the riders safe.
  3. Please arrive at the car park no earlier than 10 minutes before the start time and maintain the recommended 2-meter distance between you and any other rider whilst waiting.
  4. For the time being, we are unable to accommodate guest riders so the rides are only open to VC Venta club members, including 2nd claim members.
  5. To conform to the guidance set out by British Cycling, we need to track who is in each group. To make this easier we have set up an online form VC Venta Sunday Rides Booking FormPlease complete the form before 9:00 pm on Saturdays.
  6. If you have the NHS COVID-19 app, you will be able to check-in on the day using a QR code. This is not necessary if you have already registered using the form above.
  7. Please do not consider joining the rides if you have COVID-19, have symptoms, or are isolating as a contact, or if someone you live with is shielding, or you are shielding.
  8. Please familiarise yourselves with the VC Venta Club Ride Winter routes Ride with GPS – VC Venta. Please download the Winter Routes to your GPS devices. Winter rides have the letter W in front of them in the list of rides.
  9. Make sure you come equipped with spare tubes, tool, pump etc., as to minimise contact with others these should not be shared

Further information about safe riding can be found on the British Cycling website and we recommend that anyone coming along to the VC Venta club rides are familiar with this advice. British Cycling COVID Guidance

Due to the potential of having more groups than usual, we desperately need volunteers to lead rides, as each group needs a leader. If you are interested please contact us at rides@vcventa.co.uk and you will be given help and advice. This would help us and your fellow members greatly and is an easy and really enjoyable activity. There is also a checkbox on the booking form to indicate that you would be happy to lead rides.

Strava logo


October 2020 Segment Results and Final GC Positions

October’s final segment of the year coincided with step change in the weather. This was definitely for the worse and likely contributed to the lower number of attempts seen this month.

Nevertheless, some great times were posted on our Beacon Hill segment, with a potential for some last-minute changes to the final GC standings in this year’s competition.

In the Women’s competition Vanda Kyselicova rode alone and unchallenged to the top of this month’s table with a quick time of 07:59.

In the Men’s competition, the undeniable Ben Gibbs yet again topped the monthly table with a blistering 04:54. James Cocker grasped second place with 05:09 and Martin Evans came a very close third with 05:13.

So with this year’s competition now over the final table positions can be declared.

In the Women’s GC competition, Izzy Wild takes this year’s crown with a massive 129 points.

Jools May claimed second with a solid 75 points. Vanda Kyselicova overtook her rivals in the last month, to take the third and final podium position with a creditable 59 points. A notable mention to Joanne Clarke and Nici Ferguson who closed out the table on 46 and 44 points respectively.

Many congratulations to Izzy, who took 6 segment wins and 3 second places across the year on her way to the Women’s GC crown

In the Men’s GC competition Ben Gibbs put the icing on the cake of his first place, taking the crown with an impressive 146 points. James Cocker strengthened his second place and also broke the 100-point barrier with 109 points. Christopher Purver claimed the third and final podium position with 74 points. A notable mention to Martin Evans who was able to beat out the fierce and closely fought mid-table competition, for the honour of fourth place on 68 points.

Many congratulations to Ben, who took 5 segment wins and 4 second places across the year on his way to the Men’s GC crown.

Everyone at the club would like to wish hearty congratulation to all the winners and podium position holders in both the Women’s and Men’s competition. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to all the other competitors who made this year’s challenge a well fought and enjoyable experience for all.

Results for October 2020 Segment


Position Name Time Points
1 Ben Gibbs 04:54 15
2 James Cocker 05:09 12
3 Martin Evans 05:13 10
4 Jim Cascerini 05:32 8
5 Andy Watkins 05:40 6
6 Christopher Purver 05:47 5
7 Jack Broadfoot 06:03 4
8 Daniel Mahony 06:11 3
9 Chris Hughes 07:25 2


Position Name Time Points
1 Vanda Kyselicova 07:59 15
2 12
3 10

2020 GC Ranking Final Placings


Position Name Points
1 Ben Gibbs 146
2 James Cocker 109
3 Christopher Purver 74
4 Martin Evans 68
5 Jim Cascarini 62
6 Daniel Mahony 52
7 Philip Hurst Jr 39
8 James Locke 34
9 Andy Watkins 22
10 Philip Allen 17
11 Pawel Niewiadomy 16
12 Ryan Seed 15
13 Dave Morris 15
14 TV 12
15 Chris Hughes 11
16 Giles Corner 10
17 Jack Broadfoot 9
18 Richard Smith 5
19 Barry Mullins 5
20 Raf Izak 4
21 Jack Reid 4
22 Adrian Baxter 3


Position Name Points
1 Izzy Wild 129
2 Jools May 75
3 Vanda Kyselicova 59
4 Joanne Clarke 46
5 Nici Ferguson 44


Successful Conclusion to Autumn Go-Ride

On Sunday 11th October the last of the Autumn Go-Ride coaching sessions was held at the Winchester South Park and Ride. There have been 3 road and 1 MTB group over the last 5 weeks with riders learning new skills from mounting and dismounting through to riding in a group, forming echelons and learning how to pull a manual and wheelie.

The club is lucky to have a number of qualified coaches who have inspired the riders to challenge themselves and learn new skills and drills. Big thank you to Raf, James, Chris, Stuart, Steve & Richard, your time and energy is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for parents and riders who attended and apologies to those on the waiting list who missed the chance this year. Due to the current Covid restrictions, numbers were restricted from our usual 80+ riders to only 30. We will be reviewing this and looking at ways to get more riders on involved for the spring series of coaching starting 18th April 2021. If you would like to get involved in coaching or helping with the administration please get in touch go-ride@vcventa.co.uk

We look forward to seeing the young Venta riders out on their bikes during autumn and winter. As the saying goes “there is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing.”

Toby Leyland and the Go-Ride Team


Alternative challenge to a postponed RAID Pyrenean – Winchester to Land’s End and back unsupported in 6 days!

Sean, James and Crispin took on an alternative challenge to a postponed RAID Pyrenean, by cycling unsupported from Winchester to Land’s End and back in 6 days this September. Bikes laden with minimal tools, spares and clothing, we set off to Bridport, our first day’s stop with Plymouth, Penzance, Okehampton and Street all ahead of us, before we headed back home.

The weather was kind to us, with five days of glorious sunshine and just one wet day on the north Cornish coast. Fuelled mainly by Cornish pasties, we survived with no punctures, no mechanicals and crossed estuaries on six ferries.

Highlights of the week, included the views of St Michael’s Mount at Marazion and the tailwind assisted chain gang from Land’s End to Penzance at the end of day 3. Achievements included two tough hills – Abbotsbury Hill, heading west towards Bridport on day 1 with gradients of 17% in places and Peak Hill Road, climbing west out of Sidmouth on day 2. Its steepest section topping out at 23%. There were many more! Those that know that South West know about the relentless hills!

All in all, a truly challenging and enjoyable trip, a total of 990km and 13,600m climbed. More than the RAID Pyrenean, so it made perfect use of this year’s training!

Strava logo


September 2020 results and GC position

September’s Puncheur’s segment up to Gundleton proved to be a real challenge, with some close-run efforts across the month.

In the Women’s competition Izzy Wild took full advantage of the absence of a time being set by her closest rival Jools May, to take the full 15 points for first place with a new QoM of 3:06. Amazingly, Joanna Clarke came only 1 second away from matching Izzy’s time, with a 3:07 to capture the 12 points for second place. Vanda Kyselicova wrapped up third place with a time of 4:22.

In the Men’s competition, Martin Evans took the full 15 points for first place with the second quickest run up the segment of all time, hitting 2:36 on the last day of the month. Ben Gibbs held onto second place by the finest of margins, with a great time of 2:45 and Daniel Mahony followed closely in third place with a time of 2:46.

In the Women’s GC competition, Izzy Wild has solidified her position as Women’s GC champion-designate, now heading the table on 129 points.  Jools May remains in second place on 75 points. Joanna Clarke has leapt into third place on 46 points just ahead of both Nici Ferguson, Vanda Kyselicova who are both in equal fourth place on 44 points. The battle for that third podium position will now come down to the final month’s efforts.

In the Men’s GC competition Ben Gibbs is now also our Men’s GC champion-designate with an uncatchable 131 points. Ben joins Izzy in having the enviable option of sitting out October’s segment whilst knowing they cannot be caught.

Rather remarkably, James Cocker and Christopher Purver also find themselves, as second and third place riders respectively, with their points totals of 97 and 74 meaning they can neither catch the rider above them in the GC table, or be caught by the rider below them.

Their contributions (or lack thereof) in October may still have a role to play in splitting the extremely close-run battle for the remaining places in the top five of the GC table. Martin Evans, Jim Cascarini and Daniel Mahony can still all in theory take the fourth-place finish. The final placings will all come down to their performances in October.

The segment for October is the final one of this year and is marked appropriately, with the local favourite climb of Beacon Hill. The segment link can be found here: https://www.strava.com/segments/25583729

Results for September 2020 segment


Position Name Time Points
1 Martin Evans 02:36 15
2 Ben Gibbs 02:45 12
3 Daniel Mahony 02:46 10
4 Christopher Purver 02:48 8
5 Jim Cascerini 02:49 6
6 James Cocker 02:51 5
7 Jack Reid 02:58 4
8 Philip Allen 03:07 3
9 Dave Morris 03:13 2
10 Jack Broadfoot 03:21 1



Position Name Time Points
1 Izzy Wild 03:06 15
2 Joanne Clarke 03:07 12
3 Vanda Kyselicova 04:22 10

2020 GC ranking


Position Name Points
1 Ben Gibbs 131
2 James Cocker 97
3 Christopher Purver 74
4 Martin Evans 58
5 Jim Cascarini 54
6 Daniel Mahony 49
7 Philip Hurst Jr 39
8 James Locke 34
9 Philip Allen 17
10 Pawel Niewiadomy 16
10 Andy Watkins 16
12 Ryan Seed 15
12 Dave Morris 15
14 TV 12
15 Giles Corner 10
16 Chris Hughes 9
17 Richard Smith 5
17 Barry Mullins 5
17 Jack Broadfoot 5
20 Raf Izak 4
20 Jack Reid 4
22 Adrian Baxter 3


Position Name Points
1 Izzy Wild 129
2 Jools May 75
3 Joanne Clarke 46
4 Nici Ferguson 44
4 Vanda Kyselicova 44


October 2020 Strava Segment

October arrives and we find ourselves at the end of this year’s competition. To close the year out, this month’s segment takes us to what is regarded as one of the most well-known and fiercely contested local climbs, Beacon Hill.

The segment begins on the straight false-flat of the White Way, just beyond the sharp left turn corner that you navigate when approaching the hill from the main Warnford Road.

You will pass the field of vines on your left as you approach the foot of the first (and steepest) section of the hill, as the road curves to the right and disappears upwards away from you into the tree line.

As the gradient increases you’ll need to choose quickly; drop to a smaller gear and spin out in the saddle until the steep section ends, or keep it in a bigger cog, get out of the saddle and power your way through the tree lined tunnel that in places reaches over 14%.

As the gradient eases, resist the temptation to slacken off, as time is to be made by pressing on through the middle and relatively easier section, that begins to curve gently to the left as the view of the Warnford valley opens up on your right.

As the curve tightens, there is a perception that the road is narrowing, as the hedgerow begins to obscure your view and the gradient again starts to pitch up a little. Dig deep here, to pace your effort up to and beyond the gate on your right that then marks the start of a temporary flattening off of the gradient and the opportunity to briefly catch your breath.

Any relief is short lived as you need to bring the pace up quickly to give yourself as much momentum as possible for the final short, sharp and relatively steep run-in to the crest of the hill, with a right-left twist in the road adding to the sense of gradient.

The crest is not the end of matters though, as you need to push through the top of the hill and carry on a few more yards to the segment finish line, that lies a sensible distance from the junction with Beacon Hill lane.

At 1.15 miles in length, with 364 feet of climbing, the average 6% gradient of this Beacon Hill segment is deceptive, so you will need to bring your best efforts to set a good time.

In terms of safety, please be mindful that this hill is also a popular descent for cyclists, runners and other road users including horse riders. For this reason, please make sure you climb on the ‘left’ to protect yourself from any fast-moving oncoming traffic. Please also be aware that at this time of the year, the amount of gravel on the road may be greater than you would normally expect to see.

The link to October’s segment is here: https://www.strava.com/segments/25583729


Can you help? Volunteers Needed – 1 November 2020

Sadly, this event has now been cancelled. Our venue, Sparsholt College, has advised that they cannot host our event as the college is implementing a 10 day Covid-19 “circuit break” on site from 22nd October to 2nd November. As a consequence we are not permitted to run the event.

Our apologies to everyone involved. We will try to rearrange at the same venue for a date in early 2021.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help out.


Parentini Wessex Cyclo-Cross League Round 2 – Sunday 1 November 2020 – CANCELLED

Unfortunately, more disappointment – the Wessex Cyclo-Cross League Round 2 on Sunday 1st November has been cancelled.

Our venue, Sparsholt College, has advised that they cannot host our event as the college is implementing a 10 day Covid-19 “circuit break” on site from 22nd October to 2nd November. As a consequence we are not permitted to run the event.

Our apologies to everyone involved. We will try to rearrange at the same venue for a date in early 2021. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help out.

VC Venta is pleased to host the Parentini Wessex Cyclo-Cross League Round 2 and offer Wessex CX riders the chance to compete in this difficult racing year. We hope you will support our event and enjoy the challenging but fast and flowing course (weather depending) we have planned for this year.

Please note all entries must be made via the BC website here BRITISH CYCLING and there will be NO ENTRIES PERMITTED ON THE DAY.

The event will be held at Sparsholt College near Winchester (SO21 2NF), where there is plenty of parking space and the course covers a large area. However, we ask that all riders respect that this is an active educational establishment with students on site. Please social distance where you can, bring your own hand cleanser if you can, although there will be cleanser available on site.

The races will be shorter than usual, in line with Wessex League protocols for 2020. This course will be similar to previous years, but there will be no pits and start and finish locations may change.