Matt Brennan and Anna Morris crowned 2023 national derny champions

Matt Brennan and Anna Morris crowned 2023 national derny champions


Matt Brennan and Anna Morris were crowned national champions at the National Derny Championships after some scintillating racing at Derby Velodrome over the weekend.  

Men’s race 

Matt Brennan (MAS Design – Fensham Howes) claimed the coveted red, white and blue jersey after a fantastic battle in the men’s derny final.

During the first round of qualifiers, defending champion Tom Ward ( started in pole position and looked the favourite, but it was Brennan who took an early lead in the opening 10 laps. With the aim to not finish last of the five riders, the experienced American Matt Gittings went from fifth to overtake Brennan and to take a comfortable lead with 19 laps to go. As the two-time national derny champion, Gittings saw the race out to finish first, while Andrew Brinkley (0VB) was eliminated.

In the second qualifier, Andrew Magnier (Magspeed Racing) started well but it was Adam Kenway (Derby CC Webuycycle Huub RT) who took an early lead inside the opening nine laps, with Ian Cooper bringing up the rear early on. Magnier and Kenway continued to battle at the front as Oliver Mangham (TEKKERZ CC) came through, leaving Alexander MacRae (Ribble rechrg RT) and Ian Cooper (Team Ohten Aveas) to fight for the final spot, with Cooper being eliminated.

In the final, it was the defending champion Ward who started out in front, but Gittings stormed to the front after the first few laps of the 120-lap affair.

The 18-year-old Brennan pushed Gittings to the wire in the opening 20 laps in a tense battle for the front of the race, with Ward hot on their heels. Brennan turned on the power at the halfway point, leaving Gittings behind as he steered away from Ward and pulled away solo, while MacRare, Kenway and Magnier retired from the race.

Two-time junior track world champion Brennan showed his class and lapped the entire field with 30 laps to go as his impressive run continued, and cruised to the victory. Ward finished a commendable second place as Gitting claimed third to round off the podium.

Taking his first national derny championship title, Brennan said:

 “It feels pretty good. Me and Paul [Curran, pacer] have been on the derny since I was really young so I just thought ‘let’s go and have a chance’ without any pressure.

“I was swinging all the way round, but the problem is I didn’t know how much of a lead there was. I thought there was a guy just behind us. It makes you rush a bit harder when you see the next guy behind you.

“I’ve got a final race now for this year and then onto Jumbo-Visma next year so we’ll see what happens.”

matt brennan

Women’s race 

Team pursuit world champion Anna Morris ( showed she is the best in the business to claim the national derny title in an exciting women’s race.

Defending champion Miriam Jessett (Jadan Vive le Velo Glasdon) kicked off the racing with a huge lead, having started in pole position.

Morris and Lucy Nelson (Team Spectra Cannondale) joined Jessett at the front to split the peloton into two, and confirm the podium positions early on.

With 21 laps to go, Morris took the lead, before Nelson also left Jessett behind to make it a two-up race going into the final quarter.

Although Nelson fought valiantly, it was Morris who breezed past her opponents to take the win, with Nelson and Jessett finishing second and third, respectively. 

When asked about herwin, Morris said:

“It feels amazing really, I’ve never won the National Derny Championships before so to do it this year is special, especially as it’s my first one, it’s just capped it off. This year we won the European title and the world title with Great Britain so to get another title on home soil, it feels special.

“There’s been a lot of change for me the last two years. I decided to take a break from my medical career to try to get to the Commonwealth Games with Wales. Last year, I got the opportunity to guest with the GB squad, which turned into a place on the squad and enabled me to carry on racing my bike full-time. It’s been an amazing two years honestly.”

anna morris

Other races 

The Grand Prix scratch race saw David Brearley (Addform Vive le Velo) take the win after his fellow teammate Liam Davison led for a majority of the race.

Taking the lead with 25 laps to go, Davison brushed into a comfortable lead of over half-a-lap. He even suffered adversity with 14 laps to go as the front of his visor flew off, leaving the rider vulnerable to the elements.

He continued leading up until the final lap, where Brearley overtook his teammate to claim the crown in the first event of the day.

John Brearley (Squadra RT) won the Grand Prix points race by three points over Alistair Rutherford ( Rutherford was leading throughout the race and was ahead by five points coming into the final sprint, but Brearley capitalised on the double points to take 10 and bring his total to 17 ahead of Rutherford in second. The two repeated the result in the Grand Prix elimination race later in the day.

In the keirin, Jack Pearson was in fine form to take the victory, winning his heat before backing it up with a victory in the final. 

Andrew Brinkley took the win in the 10 mile Grand Prix race ahead of defending champion Rutherford, with Samuel Thomas collecting the bronze.