Christian Henn, directeur sportif at Team Milram, already knows who will win the Tour of Qatar: "The winner will be the rider who is a strong sprinter and copes best with the cross wind."
The weather and especially the wind will be deciding factors in the race, he said in an interview to appear Thursday on the team's website, team-milram.com. The wind is "the biggest difficulty. It can be pretty hefty. The phrase 'blown off the road' can be used almost literally. In Qatar, the race will be decided by the wind."
Henn, 44, joined Milram this year after seven years at Team Gerolsteiner. He hoped that his new team would do well in the desert race. "First of all it is important that the riders get off to a good start. Many are new and starting their season in Qatar. He added, "Because of the summery temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius, the good race organization and the good roads, Qatar is an excellent season opener."
The race also is one of the most exotic on the circuit, he noted, even the riders' sign-in. "The riders walk over red carpets just like an awards show. The local music is played and there are local folk dancers. And on the podium, the sheiks sit in big upholstered chairs and watch everything with great attention."