CYCLING: Ex-Witham Wheeler Karl takes to the boards again

Karl Baillie. Photo: Alan East
Karl Baillie. Photo: Alan East

Former Witham Wheelers junior Karl Baillie was back on track at Manchester Velodrome at the weekend.

Having missed the last couple of rounds of the Premier Division Track League, Karl was disappointed to find he had been relegated back down to Group One.

However, he rose to the occasion and recorded some good results. In the opening 40-lap scratch race, he snatched third in the final sprint, and then picked up points in all bar the final sprint in the points race, finishing with six points for fourth overall.

Karl enjoyed his best result of the night in the elimination race, sprinting to take the win. In the final 10-mile scratch race, completed in 20min 50sec, Karl dug deep to finish in sixth place.

l The rain stayed away but the gale force winds made the eighth Witham Wheelers reliability ride a real challenge.

The 63-mile circuit headed out past Belvoir Castle to Melton Mowbray and then directly into the wind on the rolling road to Tilton on the Hill. The route swung towards Oakham and back to Grantham via South Witham.

The three groups that tackled the full route survived more or less intact although the early hills into the wind did cause a few riders to drop back from group three to group two. Group one sucessfully tackled a shorter 38-mile route.

Sunday’s 100km route will head out in the Vale of Belvoir and then loop back to Waltham on the Wolds and Little Bytham, before returning to Grantham. The first group leaves Grantham Cricket Club in Gorse Lane at 8.30am and again there will be a shorter route option. All welcome.