It required a pioneering spirit to create a race that in only a few years has become a set fixture in the world of professional cycling and an indispensable event in its own right. Qatar made a commitment to join the adventure that is cycling at a time when internationalisation of the sport was at an embryonic stage. Ten years on, the Tour of Qatar enjoys a high standing with the cycling elite, whose champions show continued interest in the competition. The confrontations that take place in Doha pit the fastest sprinters on the planet against each other. Equally, throughout the years the routes of the country have proven to be the ideal start to the season for the classics chasers, who find a favourable climate as well as an ideal terrain in the windswept peninsula. Be it Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara, Heinrich Haussler, Mark Cavendish or Matt Goss, the spring’s heroes often blaze their trail in Qatar at the end of the winter.
Qatar welcomed the world of cycling with great willingness and curiosity. It has shown equal dynamism towards the world of sports generally, demonstrating its capacity to stage the world’s most prestigious events. After having organised the Women’s Tennis Masters Cup, the World Indoor Championships in Athletics and opening the Moto GP circuit in Lusail on repeated occasions, Qatar is now getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2022. This will also be the year the Tour of Qatar will celebrate its 20th anniversary, and the start of what is proving to be an illustrious history.
Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali Bin Abdullah Al Thani
President of the Qatar Cycling Federation