Oman to bid for 2015 world road race championships
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oman to bid for 2015 world road race championships

by Shane Stokes at 10:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships, Tour of Oman
 
Tour of Oman prompts organisers to think bigger

Tour of OmanWith the Tour of Oman proving to be a big early success in the second year of its existence, the authorities there have confirmed that the Gulf country intends to bid to hold the 2015 world road race championships there.

The news was announced by Tour de France organisers ASO and Eddy Merckx, the world’s best-ever rider, who is promoter of the Tours of Oman and Qatar, and now the 2015 championships bid.

He believes that the smooth running and good success of the Gulf races proves that the worlds is a viable proposition. “Professional cycling is gaining ground fast in the Middle East countries thanks to the strong will of local authorities, and the successes of the Tour of Oman and the Tour of Qatar,” the Belgian explained.

“I am very confident that Oman will have enough experience by 2015 to flawlessly organise and host the World Championships. Add to that the enthusiasm of the Omani people for professional sporting events and a state-of-the-art local infrastructure, and the event will be a hit.”

In bidding for the worlds, Oman will go head to head with two North American bids. The first of those is in Quebec, Canada, and follows on from the ProTour race held there last year. The second is in Richmond, Virginia.

The evaluation process for the worlds is due to begin next month. This year’s championships will be in Copenhagen.

If successful, the Qatari bid for the worlds will see the championships take place there seven years before Qatar hosts the 2022 World Cup in football. With the long-term future of oil being threatened due to short supply, the Gulf States are aware that they need to have plans to develop the countries’ economies in other directions. Hosting major sporting events is likely part of a strategy to raise the profile of the region as a possible tourism location.

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