week of February 07, 2015

14th Tour of Qatar a test for World Cycling pros

Camilla Greene
Tour of Qatar

The 14th edition of the Tour of Qatar has proved to be a dramatic chapter in this year’s professional cycling calendar, with racers enduring sandstorms, strong winds and multiple crashes as they vie for the top title. Passing through many of Qatar’s most picturesque spots - from the UNESCO World Heritage Al Zubarat Fort to Madinat Al Shamal, Al Wakra harbor, and Al Thakira, just north of Al Khor - the cyclists have tested their endurance amid unpredictable weather conditions. On day four MTN-Qhubeka’s Jaco Venter said: “At some stages we were really fighting to just ride at 30km/h. It was a good day of training.”

Many international names sign up for the Tour of Qatar every year, viewing it as a prime way to prepare for the Paris-Roubaix classic in April. British cyclist Bradley Wiggins said that the Tour of Qatar is tough, “but for the Classics, it’s the best preparation, because it’s so hard".

The riders concluded their six-stage race on Friday, cycling from Sealine Beach Resort in the South-East, to finish on Doha’s corniche. Norwegian Alexander Kristoff remained in the lead until Thursday but was beaten to first place at the final race by Dutchman Niki Terpstra.

Read more at Tour of Qatar