Bruce Anstey puts cancer battle behind him to claim tearful victory in Lightweight race at Classic TT

Bruce Anstey won the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on Saturday on his return to action on the Mountain Course following a battle with cancer. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.
Bruce Anstey won the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on Saturday on his return to action on the Mountain Course following a battle with cancer. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.
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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.

New Zealand's Bruce Anstey and team-mate Davey Todd celebrate with the Milenco by Padgett's team after securing a one-two finish in the Lightweight race at the Classic TT. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.

New Zealand's Bruce Anstey and team-mate Davey Todd celebrate with the Milenco by Padgett's team after securing a one-two finish in the Lightweight race at the Classic TT. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.

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.”

Bruce Anstey on his way to victory on the Milenco by Padgett's Honda RS250 in the Lightweight race on Saturday. Picture: Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press.

Bruce Anstey on his way to victory on the Milenco by Padgett's Honda RS250 in the Lightweight race on Saturday. Picture: Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press.

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.