Gallery: Final preparations for Tour of Qatar

The 11th edition of the Tour of Qatar is set to start on Sunday morning and all the riders have now arrived at their base at the Ritz Carlton hotel in the capital city Doha.

On Saturday morning, several of the teams went through their final preparations by setting out on a training ride in the Doha hinterland, with Rabobank, Team Sky, Liquigas-Cannondale, GreenEdge and Farenese Vini-Selle Italia among the first wave of squads to hit the road.

This part of the world is renowned for its crosswinds at this time of year, and the women experienced particularly high gusts throughout their three-day tour, which finished on Friday in victory for Judith Arndt. The good news for the men is that conditions appear to be becoming more settled. Whether that lasts for the six days of the race, which runs from Sunday through to Friday, remains to be seen.

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Mark joined the Cyclingnews team in October 2011 and has a strong background in journalism across numerous sports. His interest in cycling dates back to Greg LeMond's victories in the 1989 and 1990 Tours, and he has a self-confessed obsession with the career and life of Fausto Coppi.