More than 200 international cyclists will converge on Qatar for some fine racing that is expected to attract huge crowds lining the race route.
The nine-day Tour around the tiny Gulf state of Qatar will see the best male and female cyclists compete for the coveted titles. In the men’s event, distinguished names such as world champion, Briton Mark Cavendish, Norway’s former world champion Thor Hushovd, defending champion Australian Mark Renshaw and Belgian racer Tom Boonen, winner of several Tour of Qatar races, will all be aiming high for the top prize.
Mark Cavendish will return to Doha to compete in the event for the fifth time with Swiss Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara also aiming for the winner’s jacket.
In the women’s race, Kirsten Wild and defending champion Ellen Van Dijk, from Holland, will return to Qatar bidding for top honours.
The women’s tour will run from February 1 – 3, while the men will compete for the title from February 5 – 10.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the airline was proud to be associated with one of the world’s leading cycling events in line with the country’s strong tradition to support leading sporting tournaments and events.
“For the past 11 years, this prestigious event has brought some of the world’s best male and female cyclists to our capital city of Doha for some fine racing over almost two weeks.
“We look forward to bringing our 5-star service to the athletes arriving in our city and we wish them all the best as the competition gets underway this week.”
|Stages in the Ladies Tour of Qatar circuit:|
|Stage 1||Wednesday 1st February||Camel race Track – Al Khor Corniche|
|Stage 2||Thursday 2nd February||Al Zubara Fort – Madinat Al Shamal|
|Stage 3||Friday 3rd February||Katara Cultural Village – Katara Cultural Village|
|Stages in the Men’s Tour of Qatar circuit are:|
|Stage 1||Sunday 5th February||Barzan Towers – Doha Golf Club|
|Stage 2||Monday 6th February||Lusail Circuit |
(team time-trial 11.3 km)
|Stage 3||Tuesday 7th February||Dukhan – Al Gharafa Stadium |
|Stage 4||Wednesday 8th February||Al Thakhira – Madinat Al Shamal |
|Stage 5||Thursday 9th February||Camel Race Track – Al Khor Corniche |
|Stage 6||Friday 10th February||Sealine Beach Resort – Doha Corniche |
During 2012, Qatar Airways will launch flights to nine new destinations: Baku (Azerbaijan) on February 1; Tbilisi (Georgia) on February 1; Kigali (Rwanda) on March 21; Zagreb (Croatia) on May 9; Perth (Australia) on July 3; with dates yet to be announced to Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Helsinki (Finland), Mombasa (Kenya) and Zanzibar (Tanzania).
Qatar Airways has orders worth over US$ 50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 Family of aircraft. The rapid expansion of Qatar Airways prompted the State of Qatar to embark on one of its biggest projects – the construction of a brand new international airport in Doha, which is scheduled to open in 2012.