DOHA: The 2017 Tour of Qatar and Ladies Tour of Qatar, the prime events the Gulf nation has been hosting for several years, were cancelled due to lack of sponsorship.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has today received notice of the cancellation of both the Tour of Qatar and Ladies Tour of Qatar. It is understood the decision follows difficulty attracting sponsor financial support,” the sport’s world governing body announced on its website on Wednesday.
The Tour of Qatar, first organised in 2002, was part of the UCI Asia Tour until this year. The 2017 edition was upgraded to the UCI World Tour for the first time.
Men’s competition featured five stages, and the women’s event, launched in 2009, had been held over four stages, a week before the men’s race.
Because Qatar is entirely flat, the tour is almost always won by a sprinter or classics specialist. Belgian Tom Boonen and Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild hold the record with four overall wins, in the men’s and ladies’ competition respectively.