Ed Clements leads the way at Tour of the North

Peter Anderson (East Kilbride Road Club) on his way to winning Stage 4 of The Tour of the North near Donaghadee.
Peter Anderson (East Kilbride Road Club) on his way to winning Stage 4 of The Tour of the North near Donaghadee.

Ed Clements (Spirit Bikes) from Buckinghamshire, England consolidated his overall lead in the Tour of the North supported by Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Clements won the Stage 3-time trial on Sunday morning in Portaferry. He recorded a time of nine minutes and 57 seconds for the rolling 5.2-mile course.

Stamullen man Cian Delaney was second at 13 seconds with Harry Johnston (Pro Vision England) third at 16 seconds. This result increased Clements load to one minute 31 seconds over Declan Mulholland (Asea Wheelworx) who moved above Jake Hales (Spirit Bikes) into 2 nd overall. Bangor man David Watson (North Down CC) was fourth in the time trial to also shift above Hales into third just four seconds behind young Mulholland.

The afternoon stage was another hard fought stage from Portaferry to Newtownards and into the Castlereagh hills before returning to finish back in North Down at Donaghadee. Glen Kinning (Kinning Cycles) won the first King of the Mountains prime at Scrabo but it was at the next climb of Ballyhanwood Road (28 miles) that the peleton split into several groups. Ryan Reilly (Belgian project), Gareth McKee (Banbridge CC) and Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles, Omagh) surged ahead on the climb and on reaching Ballygowan they were 1 minute ahead of the main bunch.

At Newtownards (50 miles) six chasers including Jake Hales (Spirit Bikes), Peter Anderson (East Kilbride) Ben Joughin (Kinning Cycles and Craig Rea (Belgian Project) caught the three leaders with the main bunch now 1 minute 30 seconds behind.

Moore took the final King of the Mountains prime at Donaghadee Road and just after the hill Anderson (East Kilbride) went on the attack. He was 1 minute 30 seconds ahead of the chasing group on reaching Donaghadee where they did one 8-mile circuit before finishing on the Warren Road.

At the finish line an appreciative crowd applauded the Scotsman as he won be a margin of 1 minute 50 seconds. Jake Hales won the sprint for second to take a 3 second time bonus and move back up to second overall behind his team mate Clements who finished just five seconds behind the chasing group along with David Watson (North Down).

Clements now leads Hales by 1 minute 28 with Watson third at 1’35” and Mulholland fourth at 1’41”. Anderson moved up four places to fifth after his stage win.

Fraser Duncan is still leading the mountain competition and Mulholland is wearing the white jersey as leading under 23-year- old.

Monday’s final stage is a 78 miles’ road race starting at 11am from Bangor Rugby Club. It heads to Killinchy where the riders cover four laps of a hilly circuit before finishing on the Holywood Road at