We have been eagerly waiting for this day, says QCF President
06 Oct 2016 - 3:54
Doha: Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Thani, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016 (pictured), says the country has been eagerly waiting to host the mega event.
“We have been eagerly waiting for this day ever since we won hosting rights for the UCI Road World Championships. Now that it is so near, we are very excited. For a big number of people, this event will be the culmination of years of hard work,” the guiding force behind cycling’s evolution in Qatar said.
After being established in 2001, the Qatar Cycling Federation (QCF) moved extremely quickly to launch the region’s first-ever stage race, the Tour of Qatar, a year later. In 2009, more history was created when Qatar initiated the Gulf region’s first women’s event, the Ladies Tour of Qatar.
And in a few days from now, the country will celebrate its biggest cycling success story — the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016. Sheikh Khalid, QCF President since 2001, was excited to share his thoughts about the mega event’s impending start.
“We have been preparing to host this competition since QCF’s formation in 2001. One of our main aims had been to bring the UCI Road World Championships to the Middle East for the first time.
“In the past, each time we hosted the Tour of Qatar, Ladies Tour of Qatar and Tour of Zubarah races, we were adding to our knowledge base in anticipation of delivering an exceptional UCI Road World Championships experience. I can confidently say that my team is now ready. We will deliver on our promises,” he said.
Sheikh Khalid was quite happy with the way in which members of Qatari and expatriate populations have taken up cycling.
“In 2001, there were neither infrastructure nor enough aficionados for our sport. Fast-forward to 2016 and we have several iconic parks — at Aspire Zone and near the Doha Sheraton — that provide ample facilities to cyclists. Dedicated cycling tracks have been constructed in different parts of the country alongside pedestrian walkways. This is a great initiative by the Qatari government as it promotes our sport in a big way. Hundreds of cyclists make use of these facilities, especially during winters. We’ve seen an explosion of interest in our sport in recent years,” he said.