The Tour of Qatar was hit by another sand storm on Tuesday as riders competed in the individual time trial stage at the Lusail Circuit motor racing circuit.
Although the conditions were not as severe as during Monday's road race stage, the wind kicked up sand throughout the mid-morning warm-up as the peloton prepared for the blustery conditions along the 10.9 kilometre course.
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) started the stage as the favourite and is making his first appearance in his world time trial champion's rainbow jersey. Regulations for the Tour of Qatar stipulate that riders are not allowed to use time trial bikes and so Wiggins has modified his road machine and his using smaller bars and a lower stem on his special Pinarello F8. After a brief warm-up the British ride made a call on his choice of wheels and opted to use a C50 on the front and a deeper rimmed C75 on the back.
Wiggins isn't the only contender for the stage however, with Lars Boom (Astana), Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling) and defending Tour of Qatar champion Niki Terpstra (Etix-QuickStep).
For a full gallery of pre-race shots, click here.
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