POSTED: June 14th 2012
Qatar Cycling Federation targets 2016 UCI Road Worlds
Doha Stadium Plus
June 14 - After hosting the international cycling union’s (UCI) season-opening Tour of Qatar for more than a decade, the Qatar Cycling Federation (QCF) is dreaming of a much bigger prize — the 2016 UCI Road World Championship.
If everything goes according to the plan, the annual event, held since 1927, will move out of Europe for the first time.
QCF General Secretary Majed Al Naimi sounded confident about such a possibility.
“We’ve submitted a strong bid file to the UCI. We understand there’re five or six other European nations also in the race. But we’re confident of bringing the competition to Asia for the first time. Our experience in organising the Tour of Qatar will stand us in good stead. The UCI is considering our bid very positively,” said Al Naimi.
“We want to have a strong national team in place for the ’16 Worlds, possibly at home, and have appointed Slovenian Branko Filip to work towards that goal. He has interacted with our riders during the training camps at the UCI’s World Cycling Centre in Switzerland.”
“He’s different from our previous coaches. While most of them belonged to the older generation, Filip is young and up-to-date with the latest training techniques. We expect positive changes,” he said.
The national team is currently in Slovenia, where they will train till September 3. The official said it was another carefully-thought-out move.
“The team has visited Switzerland several times over the last few seasons and we didn’t want to repeat the cycle. We decided on Slovenia as it has a velodrome and excellent outdoor training facilities. Moreover, there’re also several European races happening there. The team will benefit from the trip,” he said.
The official also hinted at the formation of a new local side, on the lines of the erstwhile Doha Team, next year.
“It’s easy to form a professional team, but it’s tough to get the finances to run it. We’re working on a new team by ’13. It’ll predominantly have members of the national team and one or two European riders to help them develop. We’re very particular that only the best riders make it to the team. The camp in Slovenia will help us identify them,” he added.
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