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Coronavirus: North West 200 organisers set to announce cancellation of Race Week

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Riders at the 2019 North West 200

Riders at the 2019 North West 200

Riders at the 2019 North West 200

Northern Ireland's leading outdoor sporting event, the North West 200, is set to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Belfast Telegraph can confirm.

The world famous race, which was due to be run from May 10-16, is believed to have been cancelled by organisers as the global virus continues to sweep the world.

The popular "Meet the Riders" event, due to take place on Wednesday, had already been cancelled last week, but now the coronavirus is set to cause the cancellation of Race Week itself.

Race organisers were due to meet with the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride, and public health representatives today to ‘seek further advice and information’, but it is believed that meeting did not take place.

Instead, the decision has been made to call off Race Week, with an announcement expected tomorrow that will have severe financial implications given its popularity and the draw the week proved for tourists.

The news comes after the Isle of Man TT was also cancelled due to the virus, which is estimated to cost the government roughly £5m in revenue.

Local events the Cookstown 100 and Tandragee 100 have also been cancelled in recent days as sport continues to be ravaged by the coronavirus.

Belfast Telegraph