Go-Rides Coaches and Co-ordinator Wanted

Join the Go-Ride Team

For this Spring’s Go-Ride Series we have been able to offer 75 places to coach young riders. That may sound like a lot, but places sold out after just a few hours of going live and many youngsters will be disappointed to have missed out.

The number of places available is directly related to the number of volunteer coaches we have available, and we would dearly like to have more.

Train as a Coach

If you would like to train as a coach we’d like to hear from you. VC Venta provides free training – and guaranteed free Go-Ride places for your children!

Training sessions are available year-round and various locations in the area, so we will look to find the right one for you.

Go-Ride Co-ordinator

We’re also looking to recruit a volunteer as the Go-Ride Co-ordinator, helping with the administration involved in setting up the coaching sessions. Again, we can offer guaranteed free Go-Rides places for your children as an incentive!

If you are interested in finding out more, do get in touch on go-ride@vcventa.co.uk.

April Segment of the Month

April 2021 Segment of the Month

April 2021 Segment of the Month

April’s segment sees us make a welcome return to one of the more popular and familiar climbs in our local area. This is one that will likely favour the lighter or more ‘punchy’ riders in our club and the relatively short segment length means the competition for points is set to be closely fought.

At around 1000m in length and with an average gradient of just under 5%, the Strava description doesn’t really tell the full story of this climb. Ramps of over 9% and a middle section averaging between 6% and 7% for a significant portion, means getting out of the saddle will be an inevitable requirement if you want your effort to count at the sharp end of the leader-board.

April Segment of the Month

In complete contrast to last month’s longer TT segment, any ideas of carefully measured pacing with a finely judged tempering of power, whilst holding an aero position, need to be abandoned here. Your approach to Totford hill from the B3046 Candovers road will see you drop down the short gradient that leads you into the climb.

As you pass over the small bridge, the segment begins. Almost immediately the gradient kicks up as you turn sharply to your left and attack the start of the climb-proper. This initial section is the steepest part of the climb and how well you can cope with the effort needed to hold some decent speed here, will play a big part in determining your final placing.

The gradient softens slightly as the road twists first slightly left then more obviously right and the main part of the hill opens out in front of you. If you haven’t cooked your legs already, then you’ll need to hold above-threshold levels of power for the remainder of this middle part of the climb, as the hedgerow drops slightly and pleasing views across the valley open out to your left.

The start of a line of trees on your left marks the advent of another slight kick in the gradient and also tells you the run-in to the finish line is soon about to begin. As the climb continues the gradient falls away in front of you.

Unfortunately this is no time to ease off your power. With around 200m to go, you now need to summon a final effort to sprint for the finish line, as the road curves gently to your right, levelling off just before you reach the segment end, clearly marked by the old road sign for East Stratton which is on your left, just beyond the top of Northington hill road.

A quick look at the Strava ‘all time’ leader-board shows that one of our own club members holds the current KoM, with a frankly ludicrous time of 01:47. It will take a special effort for any of this month’s SoTM competitors to unseat JP from his top spot.

In contrast, the women’s QoM of 02:15 is tantalisingly within sight for current SoTM leader Joanne Clarke who holds a currently recorded blistering PB time of 02:34.

As always, please keep a sharp eye out for any wayward oncoming traffic, especially on the first corner at the foot of the climb; and please adhere to the rules of the road and whatever the prevailing ‘social distancing’ rules may be at the time.

The link to the segment is here:  https://www.strava.com/segments/27437453

Strava logo

March 2021 SoTM Results and Overall GC Position

March 2021 results and overall GC position

March brought us some warmer weather, lighter evenings and more importantly a significant increase in the number of attempts in our segment of the month competition. March’s TT segment of just under 3 miles in length attracted a bumper level of interest, with perhaps the lack of climbing made the prospect more attractive!

In the women’s competition, Joanne Clarke put in the only effort on this month’s segment, with an impressive time of 08:02. Joanne therefore takes the full 15 points for March and remains at the top of the women’s GC table with 30 unchallenged points.

Hopefully the advent of more good weather, coupled with the removal of some lockdown restrictions, will see a renewed interest in the women’s competition, leading to some challengers to Joanne’s control of all the points.

In the men’s competition, a total of 18 riders made attempts on this month’s segment. In fact, a handful of competitors made multiple attempts, in an effort to outdo their fellow club members; and so as the month progressed, the lead did change hands a few times.

Topping the podium this month, with a blistering effort right on the last day, was Nick Barber with a time of 07:17. James Cocker came a close second with an equally impressive time of 07:25 and James Locke closed out the top three positions with a time of 07:34.

The incredibly close level of competition in the men’s category was clearly evident, as only 16 seconds separated Ben Gibbs in fourth place, on 07:38 and Andrew Cowie in ninth place on 07:54.

In the men’s GC competition, James Cocker stays in the lead on 36 points. James Locke has moved up to second place on 31 points and last year’s defending champion Ben Gibbs is close behind in third place with 30 points.

In the best of the rest, Christopher Purver has clear distance between his in fourth place on 25 points and the chasing group of Jim Cascarini, Nick Barber and Martin Evans on 18, 15 and 13 points respectively

Things could be set to change though with our April segment, which sees us return to a local ‘favourite’ climb. In contrast to March’s TT segment, this will surely favour the lighter or more ‘punchy’ riders in our club.

Click the link here to take a look at April’s segment: https://www.strava.com/segments/27437453

Results for March Segment Challenge


Position Name Time Points
1 Nick Barber 07:17 15
2 James Cocker 07:25 12
3 James Locke 07:34 10
4 Ben Gibbs 07:38 8
5 Martin Evans 07:43 6
6 Jim Cascarini 07:47 5
7 Christopher Purver 07:49 4
8 Dave Marshall 07:51 3
9 Andrew Cowie 07:54 2
10 Philip Allen 08:10 1
11 Andy Watkins 08:31 0
12 Robin Howett 09:13 0
13 Barry Mullins 09:31 0
14 Jack Broadfoot 09:47 0
15 Daniel Mahony 10:06 0
16 Giles Corner 10:21 0
17 Toby Leyland 11:01 0
18 Nick Richens 11:23 0


Position Name Time Points
1 Joanne Clarke 08:02 15
2 12
3 10
4 8

Current GC Ranking


Position Name Points
1 James Cocker 36
2 James Locke 31
3 Ben Gibbs 30
4 Christopher Purver 25
5 Jim Cascarini 18
6 Nick Barber 15
7 Martin Evans 13
8 Andrew Cowie 10
9 Andy Watkins 5
9 David Martin 5
11 Philip Allen 4
12 Daniel Mahony 3
12 Dave Marshall 3
14 Neil Towns 2
15 Jack Broadfoot 1


Position Name Points
1 Joanne Clarke 30

Go-Ride Spring Series Now Open

Go-Ride Spring 2021 – Now on sale

VC Venta is pleased to announce that our Go-Ride coaching programme is back on track and the Spring 2021 series is now on sale!

As you can imagine, things will be a little bit different this year, and we will be strictly adhering to government and British Cycling guidance, with protocols in place to ensure safety for all.

Go-Ride is open to young riders aged 6 to 16 years, who will be divided into 5 groups based on age, skill and ability.

Registration is required for each series and costs just £20 per rider per series.

The Go-Ride sessions are held at the South Winchester Park & Ride, in a traffic free closed road circuit.

Sorry, the Spring Series 2021 is now fully booked.

Spring 2021 Dates

Session 1 – Sunday, 18th April
Session 2 – Sunday, 25th April
Session 3 – Sunday, 2nd May
Session 4 – Sunday, 9th May
Session 5 – Sunday 16th May
Session 6 – Sunday 23rd May

Go-Ride Full Details

Tuesday Evening Rides Restart

Tuesday Evening Rides Restart

Only two days to go until the VC Venta club rides recommence, starting with the Tuesday Summer Ride on Tuesday 30th March.

This Tuesday we plan to run both a Chain Gang and an A Ride; however, this will depend on how many people come along. With the weather forecast to be warm and sunny, it’s looking like Tuesday will provide some great riding conditions so why not come along?

If you are unfamiliar with the Tuesday Evening rides please ensure you read the ride information beforehand – these rides are really fun but are generally faster than the Sunday club rides.

This week the Chain Gang will be using the Winter Route and the A Ride will be using the Stockbridge Route

Ride Leaders Wanted

Ride Leaders Wanted

As we plan for the Club Rides to recommence from the 30 March, we’re looking for volunteers who can lead the Sunday rides in April. If you’d like to lead a ride, please click the button below and complete the form, advising of your availability for any of the April dates and for which group you’d like to lead.

If you would like any guidance on leading a club ride please get in touch or see our Guidance for Ride Leaders. You are welcome to choose your own route, but if you need some ideas the Club has a list of published routes that you can choose from.

Ride Leaders April 2021

Youth Development Session

Youth Development Session

Sunday 11th April – Please arrive at 09.30 hrs for a 10.00 hrs start.

South Winchester Park & Ride, SO21 2FG

What’s It About?

The coaching and racing team are combining to offer an endurance-based (road) coaching session for all youth A and youth B members (under 16 and under 14) as preparation for a return to competitive racing following the latest lockdown. Head coach and race team manager Toby Leyland will be leading the on-bike coaching session with riders supported (hopefully) by some of our race team. Youth Racing Officer Stuart Gilmour will run an information session for parents whose child may be new to racing covering some of the myths and mysteries associated with bike racing.


This is a club activity and you do not need to pre-register, however, it would be helpful for us to have an idea of how many riders are likely to attend so that we can plan appropriate group training drills and divide in to potential training groups if necessary. Please notify your interest by email to Stuart at gilmour999@gmail.com


FREE – Yes, you read that correctly. This is a free coaching session. All you need is enthusiasm and a commitment to work hard.

Information for Riders

Riders should treat the session like a two-hour road ride and be suitably equipped. Recommended kit list, 2 bottles, food, race cape, spare tube and a pump is the minimum, plus loads of enthusiasm…..and of course a bike in roadworthy condition. The session will run in all weather conditions other than snow so please bring suitable clothing as temperatures can vary drastically during a morning at this time of year.

Information for Parents

The information session will be outside under the VC Venta gazebo. Please bring appropriate clothing, garden chair or seating of your choice and a flask or bottle containing the drink of your choice.

Covid Guidance

This session will be run in compliance with the latest guidance from British Cycling regarding coaching activity. The British Cycling Document “The Way Forward” outlines what activity is permitted but as of 29th March we can offer outdoor coach-led club training. Please continue to respect other people’s personal space when not on the bike.

If you have any questions or queries about this session, please email Stuart on gilmour999@gmail.com.

Club Rides Set to Re-Start

Club Rides Set to Recommence

We are really pleased to announce that VC Venta club rides will recommence from the end of March 2021, subject to government guidance.

Dates for your Calendar

  • Tuesday 30th March – Tuesday Evening Rides
  • Sunday 4th April – Sunday Club Rides

Following the government’s recent announcement on easing lockdown, from 29th March cycling in groups of up to 6 people will be permitted again. For the time being, we will continue to follow the guidance related to COVID-19 track and trace with the following processes in place.


• To conform to the guidance set out by British Cycling, we need to track who is in each group
• For Sunday Club Rides we are using the VC Venta Sunday Rides Booking Form, please ensure you register before 9 pm on the Saturday prior to the ride
• 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

Rides booking form

Sunday Club Rides

• We will be organising all three Sunday Club ride speeds 14, 16 and 18
• For each speed, there will be one or more groups of up to 6 people depending on how many people turn up
• All rides will depart at 08:30 am from the Winchester Hotel & Spa car park on Worthy Lane; however, the meeting point for each ride will be separated
• The Club 18 ride (18 to 20+ mph) will meet on the exit side of the car park
• The Club 16 ride (16 to 17 mph) will meet in the car park on the opposite side from the Hotel
• The Club 14 ride (14 to 15mph) will meet at the normal meeting location

Tuesday Evening Rides

• Depending on the number of participants, there will be one or more groups of up to 6 people
• Again depending on participants, there will be either a Chain Gang, an A Ride or a B Ride. Please see Tuesday Evening Summer Rides for details
• Pre-registration is not required for the Tuesday Evening rides but a participating member will be required to confirm attendance

General Guidance

• Please arrive at the club ride meeting points no earlier than 10 minutes before the start time and maintain social distancing of 2 metres between you and any other rider whilst waiting
• At present we are unable to accommodate guest riders so the rides will only open to VC Venta Club members, including 2nd claim members
• 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
• Make sure you come equipped with spare tubes, tool, pump etc. to minimise contact with others as these should not be shared
• Once a ride departs we will be unable to pick up additional riders, this ensures that each group is no larger than 6 people
• Please ensure you are at the meeting point before the ride start time, even if you have registered, the ride will not wait for you to start

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

VC Venta Club Kit Update

VC Venta Kit Update

Initial order closes Thursday, 25th March

For 2021, with a broader scope for the “race team” (see Race Team Developments for 2021) and revised sponsorship, there is a change in the process for ordering race kit and Club kit.

VC Venta Race kit will be the Castelli Premium range sourced through Saddleback, designed in VC Venta colours with sponsors logos, and bib shorts in dark blue without logos.

This is a premium range of clothing that will be offered to Club members at a significant discount to retail prices. This range is aimed at any Club member who is looking to ride and race in any type of event (road, MTB, CX, TT etc.) and wants to wear club colours with premium equipment.

The Club kit range is currently supplied by Kalas and will not be changed until late 2021 at the earliest. There is a full range of club short/long sleeve tops, bib shorts and cycling apparel. This includes our current range of tops for youth & junior riders at a very competitive price. There is no requirement for youth and junior riders to have race kit.

Please refer to the Castelli Size Chart Castelli Size Guide | Saddleback.

Club Kit Ordering

For all Club kit orders please email Nick Richens on clubkit@vcventa.co.uk. Please see Club Kit for details of the full range of items, size guide and prices.

Race Kit Ordering

The initial order will close on the Thursday, 25th March 2021, and thereafter we aim to transition to small batch ordering on a regular basis.

Please complete the Race Kit Order Form confirming the item(s) required and size, and make a deposit payment of £40 per item.

Please note, the kit is “race fit” so measure twice and order once, referring to the  using the Castelli Size Chart.

The items are priced at a significant discount to retail prices (often more than 30%) but we appreciate this can be expensive for some riders, please contact the Race Manager, should you need further support on discounts.

order race kit

Race Kit Items

Code Product Name Retail Price Club Price
4300410 AERO RACE 6.0 JERSEY £110 £80
4300413 AERO PRO WOMEN’S JERSEY £115 £80
4300415 SANREMO 4.0 SPEED SUIT, Progetto X2 Seamless seat pad £260 £165
4300416 FREE AERO RACE 4 BIB SHORT, Progetto X2 Seamless seat pad £160 £105
4300417 FREE AERO RACE 4 WOMEN’S BIB SHORT, Progetto X2 £160 £105
4320458 COMPETIZIONE BIB SHORT, Kiss Air 2 seat pad £110 £75
4300453 PERFETTO TEAM (LONG SLEEVE) £200 £145

Summer Time Trails are Back!

VC Venta Summer Time Trials

They’re back and your Club needs you!

Following the recent Government announcement and subsequent statement from Cycling Time Trials (CTT), it is anticipated that both Type A (Open) and Type B (Club) events can recommence as of Monday 29th March onwards. All info on the VCV scheduled TT events can be found on the Club’s TT web page, with the first being planned for Sunday 18th April.

As always, without the willing volunteers of Club members, these events simply cannot happen. The Club needs event owners and volunteers for the 6 Club events at the dates listed on the website. As an event owner you will be responsible for recruiting your willing team of volunteers and organising the event on the day.

All of the support and guidance needed will be available, so please do come forward if you can help to organise an event by emailing racing@vcventa.co.uk ASAP.

Additionally, you can register your willingness to support your club by filling in your details on this document. Your support is greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.

Go-Ride Coaching Update 2021

Go-Ride – Coaching Update

The team at VC Venta are looking forward to getting back to coaching Go-ride on Sunday afternoons with sessions planned for the Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Currently, and subject to final confirmation from British Cycling, we are planning to start the Spring sessions on Sunday 18th April. We will keep you posted, and as we get more certainty, we expect to open the Go-ride bookings page in the next couple of weeks, so please do keep an eye out here for updates.

Thank you

Richard Sambrook Smith
VC Venta – Head Go-ride Coach


Club Kit Available to Order

Grab It While You Can!

With the enticement of Club rides and racing on the horizon, we will shortly be putting in a new order for Club Kit. In the meantime, we do have some stock items available for immediate purchase. If you would like to get kitted out ready for the re-start.

Click the button below for a list of the Kalas Club Kit currently available from stock. Please order by emailing clubkit@vcventa.co.uk with payment by bank transfer (details will be sent to you once your order is received).