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by Mark Zalewski
December 29, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Bradley Wiggins ‘officially’ retires; Canadian neo-pro Ellen Watters succumbs to injuries from collision with car; 60 Minutes television show investigating mechanical doping in cycling; Operación Puerto investigation names forthcoming; Tour of Qatar cancelled for 2017; Alicia Franck making return from injury; “In Velo Veritas” trailer; Cycling and coffee, in Colombia.
The Tour of Qatar and Ladies Tour of Qatar races have been cancelled for 2017 by race organisers. In a short statement by the UCI it cited financial difficulties as the main reason.
Spectators and scenery were virtually non-existent at the Tour of Qatar.
“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 event began in 2002 and was run by Tour de France organisers ASO. It was elevated to WorldTour status for 2017.
Criticism for lack of spectators and scenery had always surrounded the event, and the loss will be a blow to the UCI’s plans to develop cycling in the Middle East, particularly as two new WorldTour teams have significant ties to the region.
The 2017 race was scheduled to run February 6 through 10. There was no comment from the ASO on the future plans for the event.