The Stella Farrell Exmoor Grand Prix
The second Stella Farrell Exmoor GP 50 mile cycle race, promoted
by Minehead Cycling Club, took place round four laps of a hilly circuit
based at Wheddon Cross.
Stella Farrell is a Minehead resident who was a prolific racer in the
1940’s & 50’s when woman’s racing was in its infancy. Stella was a
multiple national champion and record holder in time trials and on the
track and is Minehead Cycling Clubs most famed rider.
The race started steadily until Winsford where Giles Hawkright riding
for the London Dynamo club won a special prize for being first
through the village. A split in the race took place on the second lap as
the riders tackled the steep climb up from Luckwell Bridge when a
group of ten quickly established a gap of around a minute on the rest
of the field. They rode well together ensuring that the remaining riders
would not catch them back again. They continued to extend their
advantage to over three minutes despite some determined chasing
until, on the fourth and final climb from Luckwell Bridge, the lead
group was whittled down to seven. On the final time through Winsford
one rider attacked and looked to have made a winning move. The
remaining group gradually caught him back however, until with 2kms
to go, the pace quickened and he was finally caught. At 1km to go 17
year old George Kimber from the Exmouth based CS Dynamo club
pulled away up the final climb to the finish at Wheddon Cross to win
the race. The sprint for 2nd place was won by Robert Borek riding for
Bristol based DRK Racing narrowly outsprinting local favourite
Graham Collins from Minehead riding for Team Tor 2000 Kalas.
The races were well supported by the local Wheddon Cross business
community, Exmoor Bikes, Shearwell Data and Stuart Lowen
Butchers in Minehead.
Race Director Briony Turner commented that after the riders
produced such a terrific race last year, we were thrilled that this years
race was even more exciting, with many local residents watching.
Minehead Cycling Club will also promote a series of circuit races
around Minehead Town Centre on Sunday 10th September as part of
the Minehead Festival of Wheels. The prestigious Porlock Hill Climb
is also being held on Sunday 24th September. This attracts both male
and female national champions and Olympic riders and is part of the
Devon & Somerset Festival of Cycling. For further info see: