UnitedHealthcare, Bardiani amongst 19 major teams invited
The organiser of the upcoming men's Tour of Qatar stage race has revealed the full race route and the 19 teams invited to the 2014 edition today.
The six-stage parcours will include a stage three individual time trial of 10.9 kilometers, tipping the balance for the general classification away from the sprinters, although the fast men still get five flat stages in which to ply their trade.
19 teams will take the start on February 9 in Al Wakra: 13 WorldTour teams including AG2R La Mondiale, Astana, Belkin, BMC, Cannondale, FDJ, Katusha, Lotto Belisol, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Orica-GreenEdge, Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek, plus four Professional Continental teams: Bardiani-CSF, IAM, NetApp-Endura, Topsport Vlaanderen and UnitedHealthcare.
Also taking part this year is the new Continental team from the United Arab Emirates: Skydive Dubai. The team includes Francisco Mancebo, Lucas Sebastian Haedo (from Cannondale), Alexander Pliuschin (from IAM) and Tunisian Rafaâ Chtioui, formerly of Europcar, as well as the local talent from the region.
The first stage heads from Al Wakra to Dukhan Beach (135.5km), while the second stage begins from the Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche (1605.km). The time trial will take place on the Lusail Moto GP track on stage three. On February 12, the fourth stage will run from Dukhan to Mesaieed (135km), stage five is 159km running from the Al Zubara Fort on the Northwestern coast of the peninsula, heading to Madinat ash-Shamal.
The final stage will kick off from the Sealine Beach Resort, on the Southeast coast and finish on the spectacular Doha Corniche. Mark Cavendish won the overall classification in 2013 is expected to defend his success and target stage victories this year.
Ag2r La Mondiale (FRA)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
Belkin – Pro Cycling Team (NED)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA)
Katusha Team (RUS)
Lotto Belisol (BEL)
Omega Pharma – Quick Step Cycling Team (BEL)
Team Sky (GBR)
Tinkoff Saxo (DEN)
Trek Factory Racing (USA)
Professional Continental Teams
Bardiani CSF (ITA)
IAM Cycling (SUI)
Team NetApp – Endura (GER)
Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise (BEL)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Skydive Dubai (UAE)
Stage 1, Sunday, February 9: Al Wakra – Dukhan Beach (135.5 km)
Stage 2, Monday, February 10: Camel Race Track – Al Khor Corniche (160.5 km)
Stage 3, Tuesday, February 11: Lusail Circuit, individual time trial (10.9 km)
Stage 4, Wednesday, February 12: Dukhan - Mesaieed (135 km)
Stage 5, Thursday, February 13: Al Zubara Fort – Madinat ash-Shamal (159 km)
Stage 6, Friday, February 14: Sealine Beach Resort – Doha Corniche (113.5 km)