The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) have today announced that the Tour of Qatar for both men and women has been cancelled due to difficulties attracting sponsorship.
The Ladies Tour of Qatar (2.1) was due to start on 31 January and the men’s Tour of Qatar (2.UWT) was due to start a week later on 6 February. Amongst those scheduled to start the men’s race was Niklas Arndt (Team Sunweb) and Tom Boonen (Quick Step Floors).
Boonen has enjoyed a lot of success over the years at Qatar having won numerous stages and taken overall victory four times (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012). Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild holds the record in the women’s race with four overall wins.
The Tour of Qatar was first organized in 2002 and the event was part of the UCI Asia Tour until 2016. The 2017 edition was upgraded to the UCI World Tour for the first time.
Last year’s races were won by Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) and Trixi Worrack (Canyon–SRAM).
The statement from the UCI is as follows:
“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.”