NW200: Column: Even the sun is shining, so no excuses

Everything is in place for a spectacular North West 200.

Everything is in place for a spectacular North West 200.

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The north coast is basking in glorious sunshine and with dry roads almost certain this week, there will be no excuses for anything other than a slickly run Vauxhall International North West 200.

The famous race has endured more low points than highlights in recent years, though it’s only fair to point out that on occasions poor weather has left the organisers’ hands tied.

Finally, it seems as though the weather will give the organising Coleraine Club every opportunity to run a full race programme, sending thousands of fans home happy.

With such a stellar line-up assembled, the racing will take care of itself and what a showdown we have in store, with Alastair Seeley attempting to clinch one more win to become the most successful rider ever in North West history.

Beware Ian Hutchinson though, who has been on fire this season after joining Ulster’s Tyco BMW team, and pocket rocket Lee Johnston, albeit whose prospects may have been dented by a crash last month at the Scarborough Spring Cup that has left him nursing a leg injury.

Write off Michael and William Dunlop at your peril and be prepared for an upset of sorts by fast-learner Peter Hickman, who is only making his second appearance at the event.

And what of Bruce Anstey, who has finished on the podium not only at the North West every year since 2000, but also at the TT and Ulster Grand Prix.

Everything is in place for a memorable event, but first and foremost let’s hope for an incident-free and safe week for all involved.