Federation President calls Qatar championships hopeless
The Norwegian cycling community was disappointed that its country is apparently out of the running for the chance to host the UCI World Championships in 2016. Former world champion Thor Hushovd had hoped to end his career at the Worlds in Bergen, while the Norwegian cycling federation president called a championship in Qatar "completely hopeless".
Norway and Qatar were amongst the candidates for 2017, but on Saturday, Cyclingnews was told, “There is no other candidate for 2016, only Qatar.”
Harald Tiedemann Hansen, president of the Norwegian cycling federation, told Procycling.no why he thought Qatar had taken the lead. "It is true that the United States, which is organizing for 2015, has faced some challenges. Qatar has shown its willingness to be a reserve in 2015, on short notice. If they do not take over the championship from the United States, they have pretty much been promised the championships in 2016."
He did not like the idea for several reasons. "To be honest, it's completely hopeless. Firstly: It is incredibly hot in the month of September there. In addition, the terrain is completely flat. I cannot think of any ways that Qatar is a better candidate than Norway with a view to the cycling world championships."
Tiedemann Hansen has not given up hope entirely, though. "We are in dialogue about the 2017, but have not given up on 2016."
Hushovd, who won the World title in 2010, had hoped to end his career with the Worlds road race in Oslo,when he would be 38. He wouldn't keep on racing were hiscountry were to host the championships in a later year. "No, I don't think so," he said when asked if he would continue until 2017. "2016 was long enough on my part."