After cancellation of this year’s Tour of Qatar, the race will return in 2018, after a year’s gap.
It came as a letdown to all cycling fans when the 2017 Tour of Qatar was cancelled earlier this year due to lack of adequate sponsorship. But things are looking up for the tournament after it has been announced to return in 2018, after a year’s gap.
Just last month, December 2016, the world cycling’s governing body, UCI, announced that the the tour, as well as the women’s tour, was cancelled due to the lack of a sponsor.
A statement issued by the UCI explained that “it is understood the decision follows difficulty attracting sponsor financial support”, commenting on the cancellation.
The 2017 edition was supposed to have been the first one to be upgraded to the UCI World Tour.
However, Mohammed Al-Kuwari, the new president of the Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation, has announced that the race will return next year, hopefully with stronger national teams.
AL-Kuwari added that he sees the 2017 break as a good chance for the country to develop stronger roots into the sport and attracting more locals to pursue professional careers in cycling.
The last Tour of Qatar was held in October, where the crowd turn up was smaller than anticipated.
The Tour of Qatar was first held in 2002, and has attracted big names like Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Mark Cavendish, all previous winners. The 2017 race was due to be included as part of the UCI’s elite World Tour for the first time.