Eddie Soens: Gibb goes for fifth victory at Aintree

Tony Gibb Eddie Soens 2008

The 48th running of the GP Eddie Soens Memorial takes to Aintree racecourse on Saturday, March 7.

This year?s race also commemorates Ken Matthews, president of promoting club Kirkby CC, with a mid-distance sprint named in his honour.

Although the maximum field of 400 riders is unlikely, up to 200 are expected to start the 50-mile handicap event, including a healthy number of women starting in the first group with the juniors.

Only once in its 47-year history has the race been won by a junior. Steve Cummings, the Barloworld pro then racing in the colours of local club Birkinhead North End CC, stayed clear of the chasing elite group in 1999 to score a unique victory.

Any juniors or women hoping to hold off the elites starting three minutes behind them will have their work cut out. Tony Gibb had the Plowman Craven lead-out train working to perfection last March to land his fourth victory in the event. The Plowman Craven-Madison team captain leads the squad again in Liverpool on Saturday.

Rob Hayles, 2005 winner, teams up with Ed Clancy for the first time in the colours of Halfords Bikehut, while Rapha-Condor?s Dean Downing has recovered from the head injury and broken collarbone sustained in a training accident in Spain and will be on the start line.

Entries are available on the line. For event details, see www.ccs-uk.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk


Above: Tony Gibb wins last year's race


Plowman Craven-Madison team launch

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