With two wins under his belt already in the opening weeks of the 2016 season, Roger Aiken was again on the top step of the podium in the opening round of the Ulster Road Series, the Tour of Ards on Saturday 12th March.
The ASEA-Wheelworx man held off fellow escapee Craig McAuley (Caldwell Cycles) on the line in Newtownards, having pulled clear of the main breakaway in the final run in from Greyabbey, with the pair finishing just over 30 seconds clear of the 6 remaining breakaway riders.
Typical early season breezy and damp conditions faced the riders as they left Newtownards for a 65 mile loop around the Ards Peninsula, with attacks active from the off, and at 26 miles the `See-Sense` prime was taken by local North Down CC rider Davy Hamilton, with a group of 8 riders moving clear after the second Cloughy loop.
See-Sense Prime winner David Hamilton (North Down CC) leads eventual winner Aiken in the early stages of the race. ( All Pix – The Belgian Project. Davy McVeigh)
As well as Hamilton, the group included Akien and McAuley; Akien`s Asea team mate Ali MacAuley with Aaron Swan (Ballymoney CC), Craig Rea (Phoenix CC), Glenn Kinning (Kinning Cycles), Chris McGlincney (Chain Reaction Cycles)
Once organised, this strong group were not to be caught, and with a tailwind run up the peninsula to the finish, it was Aiken and McAuley who slipped clear with Aiken taking the verdict on the line, and McGlinchey leading the chasers home for third place 33 seconds later.
The remaining rounds of the Ulster Road Series are –
R2. Mid-Ulster GP. 24th April
R3. Tour of the Mournes. 8th May
R4. Tommy Givan Memorial. 14th May
R5. Red Hand Trophy. 28th May
R6. Audi GP. 18th June
R7. Foyle GP. 17th July.
R8. Madigan GP. 6th August.
Result. Tour of Ards 2016. Saturday 12th March.
1 Roger Aiken (ASEA-Wheelworx) 2:21:28
2 Chris McAuley (Caldwell Cycles) same time
3 Christopher McGlinchey (ChainReaction) @33secs
4 Ali Macaulay (ASEA-Wheelworx)
5 Glen Kinning (Kinning Cycles)
6 David Hamilton (North Down CC)
7 Aaron Swan (Ballymoney CC)
8 Craig Rea (Phoenix CC) all same time.
9 Adam Armstrong (ASEA-Wheelworx) @1:04
10 Steven McAllister (Ballymoney CC) @1:05
11 David Watson (North Down CC)
12 Cameron McIntyre (NRPT-Magnet.ie)
13 Ronan McLaughlin (Foyle CC)
14 Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles)
15 Ryan Reilly (Foyle CC) all same time.