Ladies’ Tour of Qatar to be broadcast live on Al Jazeera TV
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Ladies’ Tour of Qatar to be broadcast live on Al Jazeera TV

by Ben Atkins at 1:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Qatar
TV station strikes a deal with Qatar Cycling Federation as the country builds up to the 2016 Worlds

ladies tour of qatarThe fifth edition of the Ladies’ Tour of Qatar is to be broadcast live on TV station Al Jazeera, thanks to a deal struck between the TV station and the Qatar Cycling Federation (QCF), the Qatar Tribune reports. The four-day women’s race - an increase of one day on the four previous editions - will run from January 29th to February 1st, and will kick off the cycling season in the northern hemisphere.

Until now, the men’s Tour of Qatar - which has run since 2002 - was the only one to have been broadcast on TV, but the “Ladies” race will now become one of the few to be seen live by a Worldwide audience.

The decision to add the fourth stage was officially announced on January 25th, but the reasons were explained by QCF Secretary-General Majid al Nuaimi.

“This move will bring in elements of surprise and raise the competitive level at the event,” he said. “We had been organising the Ladies Tour of Qatar with three stages since the start in 2009.

“The cyclists were getting used to the pattern. They might be missing some fun as well. So this year, we decided to enliven the event and now the race will be run over the four stages. It will be a test of the fittest, I feel,” he added.

The extra day has meant that the race’s original start date of January 30th has been moved forward by a day, but the organisation has been able to take this change in its stride.

“As far as the race is concerned, we’ve made elaborate arrangements just as before and we’re ready to welcome all the participants, who are scheduled to reach Doha by Saturday,” said Nuaimi.

“This is an experimental step and if it yields the desired results, we’d seek to introduce more challenges to the race in a bid to make the event more popular and more difficult.”

Qatar has been named as host of the UCI Road World Championship in 2016 and the QCF is actively planning to have its men’s and women’s teams represented in future competitions.

“We’ve already this plan in pipeline and we’re actively thinking about forming good and professional teams, Nuaimi explained. “This involves a lot of planning and resources.

“Right now, it’s difficult to say when we’re going to make the teams. But it’s sure that we’d have the teams in future to make the sport popular in Qatar.”

The TV schedule for Al Jazeera’s non-geo-restricted Online Sport Global channel is for live coverage of the women’s race from 14:00 local time (12:00 CET, 11:00 GMT, 06:00 EST), although - according to another page - the programming may begin half an hour later.


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