DOHA, Qatar (VN) — The tenth edition of the Tour of Qatar was set to get under way Sunday afternoon with a 2.5km prologue at Doha’s Cultural Village, a new civic area. The technical course features some (relatively smooth) cobbles and about a dozen turns. As of early Sunday, gusty winds were building that promised to make the short race even more technical. Riders will use regular road bikes; time trial bikes are not allowed, in a move to reduce team travel costs.
The race’s 17 teams have set up shop for the week in two tents in the parking area of Doha’s Ritz Carlton, the host hotel. With no team vans or RVs, the tents serve as bike assembly and equipment storage areas and rider gathering spots.
On Sunday morning, Steve Frothingham hung out in the tents as mechanics finished bike assemblies and riders gathered before riding several miles to the prologue area.