Ball on the cir­cuit at Bel­la­hous­ton

Fourth spot fin­ish af­ter tight con­test for the lead

West Lothian Courier - - Sports - Cal­lum Carson

West Loth­ian Clar­ion Race Team mem­ber Alex Ball took part in the un­der-16 cat­e­gory at the most re­cent cir­cuit race at Bel­la­hous­ton Park in Glas­gow.

The event was or­gan­ised by John­stone Jets Youth Cy­cling. Led by Kenny Steel and Martin Mull­hol­land, the Jets have been or­gan­is­ing crits at Bel­la­hous­ton Park in for nine years.

When the races be­gan in 2009, 35 rid­ers turned up across the age brack­ets but th­ese days over 120 pre-en­ter the grass roots events, with the club host­ing five “Bella crits” a year on a square cir­cuit in the mid­dle of the park.

They have pro­vided a good stage on which to de­velop skills for rid­ers, too with World and Com­mon­wealth track cham­pion Mark Ste­wart be­ing a reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pant in pre­vi­ous years.

Con­di­tions were warm and sunny but with a stiff wind which proved tricky to deal with for the rid­ers.

Alex was clearly feel­ing con­fi­dent about his chances, be­cause he had a dig off the front in the early part of the race, al­though he was brought back be­fore long.

At the half­way mark, he went once again and man­aged to get a 50 me­tre gap be­fore the bunch re­acted.

As the pace in­creased, a group of six went away which in­cluded Alex.

They rode hard for seven laps and built a de­cent lead as they en­tered the fi­nal lap.

At that point, Rory McGuire made a fe­ro­cious at­tack that al­most split the group but Alex kept firmly within the bunch.

Go­ing into the fi­nal cor­ner, he moved into fourth spot and that’s where he would fin­ish in the sprint, with Daniel Kane first across the line.

Clar­ion rid­ers Noah and Alexi Bleteau also raced in the un­der-12 and un­der-10 age group races, re­spec­tively, en­joy­ing their first race at Bel­la­hous­ton Park.

De­spite find­ing the windy con­di­tions chal­leng­ing, they both pushed hard and came away with some valu­able lessons to ap­ply in fu­ture events.

Fine dis­play Alex Ball (front) just missed out on a top three fin­ish

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