Money problems force cancellation of 2017 Tour of Qatar

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DOHA: The 2017 Tour of Qatarhas been cancelled due to the lack of a financial sponsor, cycling’s ruling body announced.

The stage race, due to take place in Doha in February, was called off because of “difficulty attracting sponsor financial support,” the International Cycling Union (UCI) said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The announcement is a blow to the sporting ambitions of Qatar which has hosted the race for 15 years.

Dukhan Beach - Qatar  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Illustration during the Ladies Tour of Qatar 2015 stage - 1 from Museum of Islamic Art to Dukhan Beach - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2015

The Gulf state is planning for the 2022 soccer World Cup and has hosted the Asian soccer cup, the Men’s Handball World Championship and the FINA World Swimming Championships.
Previous editions of Tour of Qatar have been won by top cyclists including Britain’s Mark Cavendishand Belgium’s Tom Boonen.

In October Qatar became the first Arab country to host the UCI Road World Championships, an event which was hailed by Qatar as a success but which detractors criticised for the heat and low fan turnout.