No Etixx-Quick-Step for Tour of Qatar

Etixx-Quick-Step won the last four editions of the Tour of Qatar, but the Belgian team will be conspicuously absent from the 2016 race.

The Tour of Qatar announced 18 invited teams for the 2016 event, but surprisingly, Etixx-Quick-Step, home of defending champion Niki Terpstra and winners of seven other prior editions, was not included.

The race is not part of the WorldTour, so teams like Etixx are not required to race it, although with four consecutive wins in Qatar, it seemed likely that the Belgian outfit would return. Eight WorldTour teams are slated to race Tour of Qatar: AG2R La Mondiale, Astana, BMC Racing, Dimension Data, Giant-Alpecin, Katusha, Lampre-Merida, and LottoNL-Jumbo.

VeloNews is contacting Etixx officials to learn more about this news. Check back for updates.

The 18 teams selected

AG2R La Mondiale (F)
Astana (Kaz)
BMC Racing (USA)
Bora-Argon 18 (G)
CCC Sprandi-Polkowice (P)
Cult Energy (Dk)
Dimension Data (SA)
Drapac (AUS)
Fortuneo-Vital Concept (F)
Giant-Alpecin (G)
Katusha (Rus)
Lampre-Merida (I)
LottoNL-Jumbo (Nl)
Rompoot Oranje Peloton (Nl)
Skydive Dubai (UAE)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (B)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert (B)
UnitedHealthcare (USA)