Triumph on the road for West Lothian Clarion rider Alex Ball

Alex Ball celebrates after crossing the line at Ellon (pic by Paula Stronach)
Alex Ball celebrates after crossing the line at Ellon (pic by Paula Stronach)

West Lothian Clarion rider Alex Ball this week savoured victory in the latest race of the Scottish National Youth Series.

The teenager took his first win in aix years on the road at the Ellon Town Centre Youth Races, part of the prestigious national youth competition.

The circuit around the Aberdeenshire town was a 700 metre triangle which delivered fast, exciting races.

During the race the riders will repeat the circuit over 40 times which means they have over 120 corners to negotiate, with acceleration out of every corner.

And as it was a wet day, this resulted in treacherous conditions with number of crashes in earlier races for the younger riders.

However it was Alex who best mastered the conditions, andhis rivals.

He said: “I went into the race feeling confident.

“I knew the course was wet and slippy because it had been raining so I rode with a low tyre pressure to get more traction.

“My plan was to be attacking during the race and always try to get off the front.

“I wanted to try something different and prove to myself that i’m able to be aggressive in a race.”

The Clarion team used good tactics to deliver the win. George Freeman helped keep the race busy by sprinting off the front to set up Alex’ winning move.

Alex explained: ““I attacked about 12 laps to go and got pulled back, George attacked and he got away for a few laps, when he was caught I went again with four to go.”

The repeated attacks by the Clarion riders meant their competitors were always having to react and waste energy.

“I tried to get a big jump on the bunch and took the the corners fast, said Alex.

“At two laps to go I knew I had a chance and buried myself, taking risks on the corners to maintain my lead”

“I knew I had the win when I went through the last corner and it felt surreal celebrating as U crossed the line. It was my penultimate youth race and I’d not won a road race in six years.”

Club president Ewen Fulton said. “It’s great to see Alex win.

“Youth sport can be very difficult when youngsters grow at different rates but it’s a credit to Alex that he has persevered, it’s a well deserved reward for all his hard work and commitment”

While Alex was racing to victory upnorth, there was further success for Clarion at the other end of the country.

Katie Galloway made it a fiine weekends for the club by winning the under-14 race at the Tweedcross cyclocross.