The UCI Road World Championships races next week might be cut drastically due to Qatar’s hot climate.
The UCI has declared that the athletes participating in the Road World Championships next week in Qatar might have some difficulties with the weather. With a forecast of temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit), the governing body has installed a four-man panel to assess the weather condition before each of the 12 races.
The event has already been pushed three weeks later than last year’s competition to avoid Qatar’s September heat.
To ensure the cyclists’ health, the Men’s Road Race on October 16 could be cut to less than half the original distance. The 257.3 kilometer race includes a 151 kilometer loop through the desert north of the capital, which might be cancelled if temperatures are high. That would leave the race almost entirely to seven 15.3-kilometer-laps around the Pearl.
Key event, the Men Elite Road Race was planned to start from Khalifa International Stadium at Aspire Zone and finish near Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel at The Pearl, 257.5 kilometers later. The original track leads the cyclists north, out of Doha and past Al Khor, towards a large u-turn near Abou Yazoul, all the way through Lusail and back into Doha, but now it is not a sure thing anymore.
The Women’s Race on Saturday might also be cut for the same reasons. The race is seven laps around the Pearl that add up to 28 kilometer, but faces being cut to fewer.
This will be the first time the UCI Road World Championships are hosted in an Arab country, and will be held from October 8, when training begins, and races starting the day after until October 16.
During the events, several parts of Doha will be temporarily closed down, including the Pearl, where many races will be doing laps.