The organisers of the Eddie Soens Memorial Trophy have confirmed to Mersey Sport Live that the race will not go ahead in 2021, though they remain hopeful for a return in 2022.

The race began in 1962 and normally takes place on the Motor Racing Circuit at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool.

After initially being cancelled in January of last year, the 2020 edition of the race was saved when new organisers stepped in at the eleventh hour and the event went ahead in early March, before lockdown.

The Harry Middleton Cycling Club took over the role of organising the race from the Merseyside Cycling Development Group.

But this year, continuing national restrictions and guidance from British Cycling mean that the historic event will have to wait another twelve months to mark its 60th edition.

The UK’s cycling community has seen many races cancelled in recent years, even before the Covid-19 crisis, so there are concerns that another spring of cancellations could mean some races never return.

However, Eddie Soens organiser Brian Rigby says the race is not at risk

“We plan on organising the event for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Funding isn’t an issue and the golf club and racecourse are fully behind the race.”

A historic trophy

The Eddie Soens Memorial Trophy is one of the longest-running bike races in the UK, and carries with it a lot of history.

The list of previous winners includes big names in the sport, such as former national champion Steve Cummings and three-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy.

Jacob Tipper, winner of the 2020 edition, reflected on why its history made winning Eddie Soens extra special.

“It’s not like winning a random football match,” he said. “It’s a trophy with 60 years of significance so adding your name to the list of winners or even being a proud participant is really key.” 

It is not yet clear when the 2021 British racing season will begin, but the promise of an Eddie Soens Memorial Trophy 2022 offers hope for a return to normal next year.

Featured image by Simon Connellan on Unsplash.

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