World Championships: Teams arrive in Qatar, begin preparing for road races - Gallery

Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Australia, Norway, Denmark train in the heat for first time

Hotels in Doha are starting to fill as teams have begun arriving in Qatar in preparation for this weekend's elite men's and women's road races at the Road World Championships

The Belgians men’s squad lead by Greg van Avermaet and Tom Boonen checked into their hotel on Tuesday evening, with the Belgian media there to greet them and immortalise the moment they collected their room keys.

On Wednesday morning the Belgian team headed out into the desert for their first training ride in the heat and humidity of Qatar as they try to quickly acclimatise to the testing conditions. At the same time other riders from Italy, Great Britain, France and Australia formed a training group that sneaked onto the finishing circuit on the Pearl artificial island before the women’s time trial race for a first look at the finish area.

Mark Cavendish was out with the Great Britain team, while Michael Matthews was part of the Australia team. The Italians stopped to pose for photographs at the pit area of the road circuit, with Elia Viviani and first reserve Filippo Pozzato showing of their special bikes for the world championships.

Following the completion of the time trial events on Wednesday, the road racing begins on Thursday with the under 23 men’s road race. The junior races are on Friday, with the elite women’s road race over 134km on Saturday and the 257km elite men’s race on Sunday.

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