Stella Farrell Grand Prix returns

By in Cycling

SUNDAY July 16 sees the second running of the Stella Farrell Exmoor Grand Prix after its successful introduction last year.

Promoted by Minehead Cycling Club, the 50-mile race is named after Minehead resident Stella Farrell, who was a prolific racer in the 1940s and 50s when woman’s cycle racing was in its infancy.

She became a multiple national champion and record holder in time trials and on the track.

The race consists of four laps of a hilly circuit starting and finishing at Wheddon Cross.

Riders go down to Luckwell Bridge and then face a steep climb to the top of Church Hill at Exford.

There, a sharp left turn takes them downhill for over six miles through Winsford to join the main road with the long drag back up to Wheddon Cross.

It presents a stiff challenge for up to 80 riders with separate prize categories ranging from up and coming juniors to seniors.

Last year’s inaugural race was won by Yeovil-based Daniel Mcquillan.

The event gives Exmoor riders a chance to race on their doorstep whilst promoting the area to visiting riders and families who may not otherwise be familiar with the delights of the national park.

Local Minehead race team Tanks Direct, as well as Minehead Cycling Club, are expected to field strong teams.

Local riders Graham Collins, Exmoor Bike shop owner Mark Gibbs, Phil Walter and Matthew Waddhams are among the confirmed entrants.

The races are supported by the local Wheddon Cross business community, Shearwell Data Ltd, Tanks Direct, Exmoor Bikes and Stuart Lowen Butchers in Minehead.

n Minehead Cycling Club is also promoting a new Minehead town centre race on Sunday September 10 and the prestigious Porlock Hill Climb on Sunday September 24, which attracts both male and female national champions and Olympic riders and is part of the Devon and Somerset Festival of Cycling.

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