Watch out for the speed cameras as the fastest men in the peloton kick off their season. Of the six stages that make up the 2013 Tour of Qatar, the team time trial in Al Rufaa Street is the only one that has not got "mass sprint" written all over it. Apart from this parenthesis on the second day of racing, the sprinters will get to test their teammates' determination when chasing on windswept terrain, their coordination with their lead-out men and the raw power of their final bursts of speed.The Tour of Qatar consolidates its status as the reference early season race for the fastest men in the peloton by yet again attracting a star-studded field for its 12th edition. The focus of attention will be Mark Cavendish's performance in the colours of his new team, Omega Pharma – Quick Step. The Manx Express will bear the weight of leading the Belgian team, which is missing Tom Boonen, a four-time winner of the race (2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012) who will have to skip the event due to an injured elbow. He will face stiff opposition from within a peloton chock-full of world-class sprinters. From Degenkolb and Boasson Hagen to Bennati, Haussler and Guardini, without forgetting the young French champion Nacer Bouhanni, most teams will bring serious firepower to bear against the British whiz. Nevertheless, if the sprinters end up cancelling each other out, the strong winds that regularly sweep the Qatar Peninsula will no doubt fill the sails of classics riders who are building up their form for later in the season, such as Fabian Cancellara, Juan Antonio Flecha and Greg Van Avermaet.