Doha awarded 2016 World Road Cycling Championships
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
September 19 - Another major event is heading to Qatar after Doha was today awarded the 2016 World Road Cycling Championships.
It joins a growing portfolio of events awarded to the Gulf State, including the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in 2014, the World Handball Championships for men in 2015 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The decision to award Doha the event was taken by the International Cycling Union (UCI) during the Board of Directors Session in Maastricht, to coincide with the 2012 edition of the World Road Cycling Championships which are currently taking place.
They were the only candidate.
Florence in Italy will host the next edition of the event in 2013.
It will be followed the Spanish city of Ponferrada, in 2014, then by the American city of Richmond in 2015, and by Doha in 2016.
It will be only the second time that the Championships have been held in Asia and the first time since 1990 when they were staged in Utsunomiya, Japan, when Belgium's Rudy Dhaenens won the professional race when it was held as a separate event.
"We are proud of the confidence placed in the State of Qatar," said Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee.
Doha's bid was led by Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Thani, the President of the Qatar Cycling Federation.
"The management of the Qatar candidature presented an extremely interesting project which incorporated innovative solutions which allowed for the designing of a technically interesting course, we are greatly looking forward to working with them," said Philippe Chevallier, the UCI sport and technical director.
No dates have yet been announced for the Championships.
The country already organises the Tour of Qatar, one of the most popular events on the calendar, which has been held since 2002 and, since 2009, has included a women's event.
This year's winners were Belgium's Tom Boonen and Germany's Judith Arndt.
With very little in the way of topography on the peninsular of Qatar, the Championships in 2016 are expected to suit a sprinter like Britain's Mark Cavendish, who won last year's World Championships in Copenhagen.