CYCLING: Grantham rider Baillie enjoys success on home soil and abroad

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Former Witham Wheeler Karl Baillie (HMT Academy) has enjoyed recent success in York and France.

Riding in a senior National B road race with professional riders and those on the GB Academy, Karl put in an excellent ride.

The race was 85 miles long with more than 2,000m of climbing and Karl, on junior gear restrictions, kept near the front all day, riding away from his select group on the final climb to take a fantastic seventh place.

In a junior race in France the following week, Karl rode at the front of the race all day in the breakaway, just fading with a lap to go to take 17th place out of 130 starters, of which only 50 finished.

l One of the best evenings of the year for the penultimate round of the Witham Wheelers 10-mile time trial league saw several riders achieving personal best times.

Fastest rider on the evening was Gary Symons in 23min exactly, 45sec too good for junior Adam Egner, with Peter Watson one second further back. Louise George was first lady in 27.12, from Carol Milne in 28.27.

The ladies led the way on handicap with Vicky Saffaris’ 1.06 improvement just three seconds ahead of Heidi Moulds. Michael Smalley continued his domination of the veterans’ competition with +3.45, from Gary Symons +3.09

In the league competitions, Gary Symons now has an unassailable lead in the scratch competition. However, in the handicap it is all to ride for in the last week, and with four riders in with a chance of winning – Ehren Courtman 202pt, Michael Smalley 201, Heidi Moulds 196 and Phil Smith 194 – it is going to need a good PB to snatch the title.

The final round of the league is on Tuesday evening. Sign on at Grantham Cricket Club on Gorse Lane after 6pm, with first rider off at 6.45pm. All welcome.