March brought a renewed interest in our club’s Segment of the Month challenge, with a number of new competitors attempting to set competitive times on the sprinter’s segment down the Somborne valley.

In the women’s competition, Franie Ng took top spot and the full 15 points with a very quick time of 01:17. Remarkably, Annie Dixey and new competitor in the women’s field, Fran Benoist-Eatwell both tied for second place with identical times of 01:26, set nearly a week apart.

In the women’s GC table, Franie Ng has created a small lead for herself, sitting top of the table on 42 points. Annie Dixey is still close behind in in second place on 39 points, with Vanda Kyselicova remaining in third position on 20 points. Fran Benoist-Eatwell joins them on the table in fourth spot, with 12 points, making a great start to her 2023 campaign.

In the men’s competition, 14 riders who are signed up to the 2023 SoTM Strava group attempted to set times on the Sombornes sprint segment.

Oscar Hoult marked his impressive hat-trick of wins for 2023, taking first place and a new segment KoM, with an unbelievably quick time of 01:04, edging out previous KoM holder Paul Double. In second place, past competitor from previous years Christopher Purver, has come roaring back into contention, with an equally impressive time of 01:06, followed by George Bentall in third place who set a time of 01:11.

Further down the table, Bobby Buenfeld and Sam Talent both just missed out on podium positions, setting matching times of 01:13.

The men’s GC table continues to be dominated by Oscar Hoult, who with 45 points is starting to create what might prove to be an unassailable early season lead. Jim Cascarini has added some points to his tally, maintaining second GC spot on 29 points. Christopher Purver has capitalised on his good showing in March to leapfrog into the third GC third position on 18 points.

A little further down the GC table, three riders (William Hart, Brian Wallace and George Bentall) all sit equal fourth, with 10 points apiece.

Many congratulations yet again to Franie and Oscar who both win a free hot drink and slice of cake from South Downs Social café who generously continue to support and sponsor our club’s annual segment of the month competition.

April’s segment has riders climbing up a familiar route into Alresford from the South. Can anyone in the men’s competition, pick up the gauntlet set by Oscar Hoult and challenge his dominance by setting a quicker time over April’s climb? Click the link here to take a look at April’s segment:

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