Bruce Anstey: Kiwi wins lightweight race at Classic TT on return from cancer treatment

Bruce Anstey topped lightweight practice on his Padgett's Honda on Monday night
Bruce Anstey is returning to road race action this week after two years out because of serious illness

New Zealander Bruce Anstey made an amazing comeback after a two-year break for cancer treatment with victory in the lightweight race at the Classic TT.

The 50-year-old won by 70 seconds from Milenco by Padgett's Honda team-mate Davey Todd with teenager James Hind 9.5 seconds further back in third.

Anstey led throughout in a race reduced from four laps to three.

Welshman Ian Lougher was fourth and he was followed in by Jamie Coward and Welshman Charles Rhys Hardisty.

It was a sixth Classic TT win for Anstey and his third in the lightweight class.

He clocked the fastest lap of 117.05mph on the opening circuit from a standing start.

"It's awesome to win. I can't believe it. Everyone - the team, Clive (Padgett), my family have just been awesome," said a delighted Anstey after his victory.

"I was right in the zone but on the last lap I was really nervous and just short shifted - I was not trying to go fast - just get it to the end. The last two years have been really tough. If it wasn't for Anny (his partner) I wouldn't be here."

Earlier in the senior classic, which was also reduced to three laps, John McGuinness won by 28 seconds from fellow Paton rider, Italian Stefano Bonetti, with Coward third on a Manx Norton.

McGuinness set the fastest lap on lap one at 111.679mph and it was his third success in the senior classic after triumphs in 2016 and 2018.

The race was reduced to three laps after the initial attempt to run was red-flagged on lap one following an incident at Ballaugh Bridge which claimed the life of Chris Swallow.

Maria Costello just missed out on a podium spot by coming in fourth.

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