Fellows wins Hardriders TT for a record fourth time

Dave Fellows (Solihull CC) really enjoys the challenge of the club’s season opening Hardriders TT and was determined to hang on to the Broughton Cup for his fourth win on the trot. He’s not the only one who’s developed a stranglehold on this event, as Naomi de Pennington (Drag2Zero) completed a hattrick of wins in the women’s category.

Man of the moment – Dave Fellows descends Sunrising (photo Paul Dean)

This 23-mile TT, held on the A422, starts and finishes at Wroxton with a ride out to the roundabout at Ettington and back. As well as the challenge of the steep Sunrising hill on the return leg, the weather at this time of the year is usually an additional challenge. However, following a period of unsettled weather, the early morning conditions were largely dry, save for a few puddles, but more importantly, there was little or no wind.

Fellows’ win was again hard fought, with Josh Newbould (Drag2Zero) pushing him hard. Both riders arrived at the halfway turning point, with Fellows having no more than a 5 second advantage over Newbould. However, his speed and probably his strength up Sunrising saw him extend his slight lead to just over 2 minutes at the finish. His time was recorded as 50.10, which is so close to his official 2021 course record of 50.09. James Pittard (University of Bristol CC) finished third.

First lady club member home Heidi Yates climbs Sunrising (photo Paul Dean)

A similar situation played out in the women’s category, with Naomi de Pennington, having a very strong challenger in Sian Marsh (Team Boompods). Again, at the halfway point they had virtually identical times. Naomi however knows the course well and used her experience and strength to beat Sian by just 13 seconds at the finish. A great result for them of both, as they finished sixth and seventh overall.

First Banbury Star rider home, finishing an excellent fourth overall, was club race secretary Josh Lovell, whilst the first club woman rider was Heidi Yates. Only two club juniors entered this tough event, with 16-year-old Poppy Kisley finishing 30th, only one place behind Heidi, and setting a new U18 record of 1.10.39.  15-year-old Alex Putt finishing 33rd, great results for these two out of an entry of 50 riders.

Top 10 Results: 1. Dave Fellows 50.10, 2. Josh Newbould 52.11, 3. James Pittard 54.13, 4. Josh Lovell 56.36, 5. Sam Harding 57.02, 6. Naomi de Pennington 58.47, 7. Sian Marsh 59.00. 8. David Tucker 59.17, 9. Kit Buchanan 59.31, 10. Oliver Billing 1.00.18

A big thank you to TT Secretary Rhys Martin for organising the event, plus time keepers Oli Wright and Howard Waller. Also all the marshals along the A422 and the helpers at Wroxton Sports and Social Club.