Roger Aiken (ASEA) outsprinted breakaway companion Craig McAuley (Caldwell Cycles) at the end of 65 tough miles of racing, to make it 3 wins in 3 years for ASEA at the Tour of Ards (following Damian Shaw last year and Frazer Duncan in 2014)
Christopher McGlinchey (Chain Reaction Cycles) led in the rest of the 8-man break 32 seconds later, ahead of Alastair McCauley (ASEA), Glen Kinning (Kinning Cycles) and David Hamilton (NDCC). Aaran Swan (Ballymoney) and Craig Rea (Phoenix) filled out the top 8.
Comeback rider Adam Armstrong (ASESA) led in the next group, with ever green vet Brian Stewart winning the bunch sprint for 19th place just over a minute and a half behind the winner.
After a damp start, the race slowly brighten up as the riders headed down the Ards Peninsula into a niggling headwind. There were numerous attacks, but no group got more than 30 seconds in the first half of the race.
After David Hamilton took the prime for a pair See.Sense lights at 26 miles, the final break started to form, and as the riders started their second Cloghey lap, the final lead group of 8 had formed.
In the final, wind assisted run in to the finish, Roger and Craig escaped to fight out the win.
First Junior was Cameron McIntyre (NRPT), with Ryan Bankhead (Ballymoney) taking the unplaced A2 award and Chris Lawlor (VC Glendale) the unplaced A3. Fergus Rooney (Phoenix) took the Vets prize, and Ian Carson was first Ards CC rider.
|2||Chris McAuley||Caldwell Cycles||2:21:28|
|3||Christopher McGlinchey||Chain Reaction Cycles||2:22:01|
|5||Glen Kinning||Kinning Cycles||2:22:01|
|6||David Hamilton||North Down CC||2:22:01|
|7||Aaron Swan||Ballymoney CC||2:22:01|
|10||Steven McAllister||Ballymoney CC||2:22:33|
|11||David Watson||North Down CC||2:22:33|
|12||Cameron McIntyre||Nicholas Roche PT||2:22:33|
|13||Ronan McLaughlin||Foyle CC||2:22:33|
|14||Darnell Moore||Caldwell Cycles||2:22:33|
|15||Ryan Reilly||Foyle CC||2:22:33|
|16||Joseph McCrory||Carn Wheelers||2:22:33|
|17||Gareth McKee||Banbridge CC||2:22:33|
As always, it would have been impossible to run the race without the help of many people. Ards CC would like to thank –
- The police, for safely managing the race, particularly in the heavy traffic at the start and finish.
- St. John Ambulance, who thankfully had a quiet day.
- Our Sponsors, Roma’s, See.Sense, CRC and the Belgian Project.
- The Commissaires
- All the club volunteers who helped to marshall (both on foot and on motorcycle), judge, drive, support and time the race.
- St Patricks for the use of the Parish Hall for the event HQ
- Everyone who helped with the catering – it was a great spread as always 🙂
- And finally, the riders.
We look forward to seeing you at other Ards CC events later in the year