Capital cyclist Evan Oliphant will launch his season tomorrow when he lines up in a field of more than 170 riders at Aintree Racecourse for the Eddie Soens Memorial Race, the traditional pipe opener for top domestic riders.
The 50-mile event is contested on a handicap basis over 30 laps of a tarmac circuit around the periphery of the Grand National racecourse and normally ends in a bunch sprint.
Team Raleigh captain Ian Wilkinson joins Oliphant and Frenchman Morgan Kneisky as the experienced heads in the squad. Oliphant finished sixth in last year’s race, using it as a springboard to selection for his third Commonwealth Games. His results over the season included an eighth-place finish in the Edinburgh round of the Pearl Izumi Series, but the Capital has been dropped from this year’s schedule.