In a surprise move, organizers have announced the cancellation of the 2017 Tour of Qatar and the Ladies Tour of Qatar due to financial troubles.
That means 2017 will be the first time in 16 years that Qatar will not hold the men’s cycling event.
In a brief statement yesterday, Union Cycliste Internationale said:
“UCI has today received notice of the cancellation of both the Tour of Qatar and Ladies Tour of Qatar. It is understood the decision follows difficulty attracting sponsor financial support.”
The men’s tournament, which was recently upgraded to WorldTour status, was due to be held in February.
Velos News reports that “its abrupt exit leaves a hole in the calendar just weeks before the 2017 WorldTour opens” on Jan. 17.
Just a few months ago in October, Qatar became the first Arab country to host the UCI Road World Championships.
While many hailed that event as a success, detractors criticized the heat, lack of fan turnout and other issues.