2010 event off, but new gulf race planned to follow Tour of Qatar
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2010 event off, but new gulf race planned to follow Tour of Qatar

by Conal Andrews at 5:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Although the planned first edition will now not take place in 2010, riders from cycling’s top teams could spend more time away from Europe in cycling’s early season following the news that a new Tour of Oman will take place after the Tour of Qatar starting in 2011.

If confirmed, the race would be part of the ongoing attempt to globalise cycling. Legendary rider Eddy Merckx would be the race organiser, filling the same role he currently occupies for the Qatari tour. It is not known if Tour de France organisers ASO would also be on board, as is already the case for the latter event.

According to Tuttobiciweb.it, the race was due to take place two or three days after the finish of the Tour of Qatar. Swine flu is rumoured to be the reason why that won’t now happen in 2010, suggests www.bikeworldnews.com, but that timetable is likely to be followed when the race does take place.

It would ensure that some of cycling’s key riders could miss events such as the Tour of the Mediterranean, the Giro del Costa degli Etruschi, the Giro del Giro della Provincia di Grosseto, the Giro del Laigueglia and the Majorca Challenge races.

Of course, their teams could send alternative entrants to those.

In 2009, riders from squads such as Quick Step, Garmin Slipstream, Silence Lotto, Columbia HTC, Katusha, Liquigas, Milram, Ag2r La Mondiale, Lampre NGC, BMC Racing Team, Cervélo Test Team and others took part in the Tour of Qatar.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) triumphed, beating Heinrich Haussler and Roger Hammond (both Cervélo Test Team).

It is used by many of the teams to hone early season form and also to try to make a good impression on ASO.


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