Swan wins at Clough

04 August 2014
Aaron Swan was the winner of last Tuesday evening’s Clough Rangers trophy 28.8 miles road race, which was promoted by Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – and held over eight laps of the famous Mid-Antrim 150 motor cycle circuit.
Aaron, who also won this race in 2012, started from the scratch group this time and came through late on the last lap to take the honours.
One of the competitors – junior rider George Graham –, who finished third, gives his account of the race.
"I started in the third group with about 10 or so riders and we were set off 7 minutes 30 seconds down on the front of the race with scratch another 3 minutes behind us.”
"We worked well as a group and by the fourth lap (half distance) we had caught the front of the race. Every lap on the climb up into Clough I would go onto the front and push the pace up the hill to try and stop scratch catching us”
"Onto the last lap there was still no sign of scratch and so our bunch all expected the race to end in a battle up the final climb and possibly even a sprint.
However, just before the bottom of the climb Harry Thompson attacked off the front and our group stalled and didn’t react, giving him a gap. I waited a further 30 seconds and then Aaron Swan came flying past my bunch up the right hand side of the road”
"I immediately saw the danger and jumped across to his wheel and we started working to bring back Harry. After a few turns we had distanced the bunch on the climb and then Aaron attacked me in pursuit of Harry so I jumped again onto his wheel. He then signalled me through and so I did another turn and Harry was then possibly only about 10 seconds up the road. Aaron then kicked again but my legs wouldn't answer this time so I just rode tempo as hard as I could to the finish”
"Aaron caught Harry just before the line and took the victory by about 3 or 4 seconds and I came in possibly a further 5 seconds back. The rest of the bunch came in in drips and drabs with no real bunch left as far as I could see. Harry started from Group 3 with me and Aaron started in the scratch group with about 8 riders and he made it over to us with about 3km to go and the rest only caught our bunch in the last few hundred meters”
"It was a tough night and I'd like to congratulate Aaron on a well-deserved win” concluded George.
(1) Aaron Swan (Nicholas Roche Performance Team) 1 hour 18 minutes 30 seconds (2) Harry Thompson (3) George Graham (4) Daryl Sempey (5) Nigel Kernohan (6) S Hutchinson (CCT) (7) Ryan Bankhead (8) L Balmer (Michelin) (9) Colin Scullion (10) Ryan Shaw (11) Simon Taggart (12) Richard Reid (13) Ryan Currie  (14) Paul McWilliams (Michelin) (15) Jim McConnell (East Antrim) (16) Philip Morrison (17) John Shaw (18) Alan Blair (19) Gary Reid (20) Clifford Grant (21) Mark Wright (22) Tommy Wilson (23) Caolan Stuart (24) Eileen Burns (25) J McLaughlin (CCT) (26) Derek Dougan (27) Martin Ruddy (28) G Elliott (Carn) (29) Laura Blair (30) Claire Gillespie.
The Clough race was round five of the eight round Ballymena Road Club road racing league series for the William Smyth cup.
Ryan Bankhead extended his lead having amassed 42 points. Gary Reid is second with 19 and Karl Taylor third on 18. Then it’s Richard Reid on 17 with Sean Wright fifth on 14. Ryan Shaw and Neil Millar are equal sixth on 13 points.
This week’s action includes two races in the road race series, which concludes on 22nd August with the Will Henry cup at Glarryford.