North West 200 is cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions
Northern Ireland's biggest sporting event, the North West 200, has been cancelled due the 'government’s introduction of restrictions to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic'.
The motorcycle road races, which were originally to take place this week, had been postponed in the hope of finding new dates later in the year.
But organisers today announced the renowned event, which attracts tens of thousands to the North Coast, will not now take place in 2020.
Organisers said: "A provisional date for the 2021 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils NW200 Race Week Festival has already been set for 9th to 15th May. We hope everyone stays safe and well so we can return to an even bigger and better North West 200 12 months from now."
Since March the organisers of the NW200 have been in consultation with all of the relevant agencies to explore the possibility of running the event at a later date during 2020.
''We have corresponded with officials from the NI Executive as well as Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council plus all of the NW200’s stakeholders, considering every option available to us should there be a suitable window of opportunity,'' a statement from the organisers said.
''Despite these efforts, it is now obvious the disruption and uncertainty the virus will continue to place on all of our lives and activities in the coming months will make it impossible to deliver the extensive planning required to run an event on the scale of the North West 200.
''That being the case, Coleraine and District Motor Club have taken the unfortunate but responsible and necessary decision to cancel the 2020 races. We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause for our competitors, volunteers and race fans.''
Several motorcycling events have had to be postponed or cancelled in recent months.
The 2020 Kells Road Races organisers cancelled their event and said that it hoped to re-stage the event in 2021.
The Southern 100 road races in the Isle of Man also decided not to continue with their planned event which was to be held in the first week of July.
The Cookstown 100 and Tandragee 100 races have both been postponed, with hopes of staging them on a date this September.