Ballymena Road Club held their annual Clough Rangers Shield road race over the Mid Antrim 150 motor cycle circuit last Tuesday evening.
There was a very poor turnout for this year’s event with poor weather conditions no doubt contributing to the lack of entries.
Those who signed on were set off in two groups – 5 minutes apart.
One of the front group riders Gary Reid took full advantage of his starting handicap to stay ahead and win the 8 lap – 30 miles race in 1 hour 14 minutes 28 seconds.
Afterwards a delighted Gary said: “This is my first win with BRC. The race was split into two groups and I was in the first group.
“There was a disappointing turn out of riders, as there were a number of other events on and possibly because the mid Antrim course is notoriously tough.
“We set off, but it wasn’t long before some riders in the group were in trouble with guys not coming through and leaving gaps. We waited on a few occasions, to try to keep the numbers up, as this would help spread the work, but it wasn’t to be.
“I think maybe on the second or third lap it was just Adam Torrie, Dale Bonnar and myself at the front. We helped each other out trying to keep working with one another until the last lap.
“We were getting time checks at points around the course so on the last lap we were safe enough to back it down. I was happy enough leading up the hill the last time into the village and the finish line. I just watched Adam and Dale and covered their sprint.”
(1) Gary Reid (2) Dale Bonnar (3) Adam Torrie all 1 hour 14 minutes 28 seconds (4) Stephen Hutchinson (Cookstown CT) (5) Connor Young (6) Matthew Brennan (7) Breandan McCavana all at 2 minutes 42 seconds
The Clough “150” event was the fifth round of the eight round road racing league series for the William Smyth cup. Ryan Bankhead still leads with a total of 37 points but his lead has been cut to just 3 points over second placed Matthew Brennan who has amassed 34. Clough winner Gary Reid has moved up to third place overall with 27 points (4) Connor Young 22 (5) Richard Reid 19 (6) Tommy Wilson 18 points.
There are two rounds this week with Monday night’s event at Randalstown and tonight’s (Wednesday) Sammy Gaston cup road race at Glarryford both likely to prove decisive to the final outcome of the season long contest.
The final round is the Will Henry cup at Glarryford on Friday, August 26.