Comeback hero Bruce Anstey was fighting back the tears as the popular New Zealander overcame the odds following a battle with cancer to win again at the Classic TT.
The 50-year-old dominated the Dunlop Lightweight race on Clive Padgett’s Honda RS250 to secure a remarkable victory by 1m 10 seconds from team-mate Davey Todd.
It was an incredible performance by the ‘Flying Kiwi’, who missed the past two seasons as he battled cancer.
An opening lap of 117mph, the quickest in the shortened three-lap race, put him clear of the field and from there Anstey managed his pace, closing out one of the most special wins ever in the history of the legendary Mountain Course.
Afterwards, he said: “It’s awesome and I can’t believe it. A big thanks to everybody; all the people who put money into my crowdfunding page to help get me out here, Clive (Padgett), the team and my family.
“It’s been fantastic and it’s just awesome to be back. It’s been really tough on me and Anny (Anstey’s partner) and if it wasn’t for here I wouldn’t be here.”
James Hind from Market-Rasen was holding second place at the end of the first lap behind Anstey but received a 30-second penalty for speeding in pit lane.
Hind dropped a few positions, but he fought his way back through the pack and overhauled veteran Ian Lougher (LayLaw Yamaha) on the final lap to earn a superb podium on his TZ250 Yamaha.
Jamie Coward (Binch Racing Yamaha) and Charles Rhys-Hardisty (Kaymac/Willson and Widling Yamaha) were the top six.
Northern Ireland’s Lee Johnston, who won the race last year, was a retirement on his Binch Racing Yamaha.