Tour of Qatar
The Tour of Qatar (including the Tour of Qatar, Arab طواف قطر, Qatar Tawaf DMG ) is a stage race for cyclists in Qatar in the Persian Gulf. The discharged since 2002 race takes place every year in late January / early February, and until 2007 comprised five stages. Meanwhile, the Tour of Qatar, which is organized by the ASO begins a year with a team time trial and goes on six stages.
Origin and history
The race was created as a result of the search of cycling for new sponsors and investors. Perhaps the greatest race in the region is mainly held in and around the capital city of Doha in the desert. It performs every year by the ten administrative units of Qatar; besides, also many historically significant sites such as the Fort Al Zubarah be passed. The total length of the race is over 800 km, making the 1000 km long road network is almost completely drive on the Emirate. Characteristic of the tour are the flat stages that rise no higher than ten feet above the sea level in the rule; Therefore, the race is very attractive for sprint specialists. However, a difficulty lies in the strong wind, desert sand swirls through the air.
Not least because of the high monetary rewards is popular among the teams the tour, but also because at the time of discharge of the Tour of Qatar in Europe there is still winter, take a lot of teams participate there in order to compete in warm temperatures at high levels. Among other stars such as Mario Cipollini and Robbie McEwen won stages there already. The overall winner of the Tour of Qatar are mostly Sprinter: The first edition won the German Thorsten Wilhelms, was succeeded by Alberto Loddo from Italy. Triumphed in 2004, the South African Robert Hunter. Record was the Belgian Tom Boonen: he brought in a total of three sweeps (2006, 2008 and 2009) the golden jersey winner. His Quick Step team was able to tour even win four times in a row: 2007 Wilfried Cretskens was ahead of his teammate Boonen first. Since 2005, a part of the Tour of Qatar to UCI Asia Tour and is classified in the UCI category 2.1.
Race for women
Since 2009, the Tour of Qatar will be held for women. In the early years, the race went through four stages, but in 2013 it was extended by one stage.
- 2014: Niki Terpstra Netherlands
- 2012: Tom Boonen of Belgium
- 2011: Australia Mark Renshaw
- 2010: Netherlands Wouter Mol
- 2009: Tom Boonen of Belgium
- 2008: Tom Boonen of Belgium
- 2007: Belgium Wilfried Cretskens
- 2006: Tom Boonen of Belgium
- 2003: Italy Alberto Loddo
- 2002: Germany Thorsten Wilhelms
- 2013: Netherlands Kirsten Wild
- 2012: Judith Arndt Germany
- 2011: Netherlands Ellen van Dijk
- 2010: Netherlands Kirsten Wild
- 2009: Netherlands Kirsten Wild