The 2016 UCI Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, are making history: it is the first time that our largest and most prestigious annual gathering is being organized in the Middle East, and the second time that it takes place in Asia after 1990 when they were held in Utsunomiya, Japan. This is a further demonstration of the globalization of cycling, with the World Championships going to a country which has hosted the Tour of Qatar for almost 15 years and its female twin, the Ladies Tour of Qatar, since 2009.
From 9 to 16 October, the 89th UCI Road World Championships will crown 12 new UCI World Champions – seven for time trials and five for road races.
Saturday 8 October
Time Trial Training 10:00-13:00
Sunday 9 October
UCI Women’s Team Time Trial 14:10-15:15
UCI Men’s Team Time Trial 15:20-16:40
Monday 10 October
Women Junior Individual Time Trial 09:30-10:40
Men Under 23 Individual Time Trial 11:30-15:50
Tuesday 11 October
Men Junior Individual Time Trial 09:00-12:30
Women Elite Individual Time Trial 13:15-16:30
Wednesday 12 October
Men Elite Individual Time Trial 13:45-16:05
Thursday 13 October
Road Race Training 09:45-11:45
Men Under 23 Road Race 12:00-15:55
Friday 14 October
Women Junior Road Race 08:30-10:30
Men Junior Road Race 13:15-16:30
Saturday 15 October
Women Elite Road Race 12:45-16:20
Sunday 16 October
Men Elite Road Race 10:30-16:35
The race routes
All events will finish along the 32km coastline of Pearl Qatar, a man-made island off the West Bay coast. With its waterfront promenades lined with cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels, this popular tourist attraction has earned the nickname “Arabian Riviera.”
Of the 12 events, seven will also start on Pearl Qatar:
– ITT Women Junior, Monday 10 October (9:30-10:40) – 13.7km
– ITT Men Under 23, Monday 10 October (11:30-15:50) – 28.9km
– ITT Men Junior, Tuesday 11 October (9:00-12:30) – 28.9km
– ITT Women Elite, Tuesday 11 October (13:15-16:30) – 28.9km
– RR Men Under 23, Thursday 13 October (12:00-15:55) – 165.7km
– RR Women Junior, Friday 14 October (8:30-10:30) – 74.5km
– RR Men Junior, Friday 14 October (13:15-16:30) – 135.3km
Five events, including the Elite road races, will start outside the Pearl Qatar area, allowing fans and viewers to enjoy iconic landmarks of the capital of Qatar.
The Women’s and Men’s team time trials will depart from the Lusail Sports Complex, located in the city of Lusail in the North of Doha. Lusail is internationally known for its motor racing circuit which has hosted the annual MotoGP of Qatar since 2004. Riders will head south along an urban stretch of road taking them to Lusail City and passing Qatar University before entering the West Bay lagoon, gateway to The Pearl. The Men Elite individual time trial, which will bring the curtain down on the events against the clock, will take the same route from Lusail to The Pearl.
– TTT Women, Sunday 9 October (14:10-15:15) – 40km
– TTT Men, Sunday 9 October (15:20-16:40) – 40km
– ITT Men Elite, Wednesday 12 October (13:45-16:05) – 40km
Penultimate event of the week-long cycling extravaganza, the Women Elite road race will start from the Qatar Foundation headquarters in Education City, a hub of educational facilities with universities and schools, research centres and laboratories, located on the outskirts of Doha. The race will comprise a first section of 28km through downtown Doha followed by seven laps of a circuit on The Pearl.
– RR Women Elite, Saturday 15 October (12:45-16:20) – 134.1km
Finally, the Men Elite road race on the last Sunday will see the peloton depart from the Aspire Zone, a 250-hectare sporting complex, home to the Khalifa Stadium, which will be an important feature in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Riders will move north via Lusail to the desert where unpredictable weather conditions could be a challenge. Although the heat will certainly be something the cyclists will need to cope with, a more decisive factor will be the crosswinds in the desert. After 151km of gruelling racing, riders will continue with 7 laps of a circuit on The Pearl.
– RR Men Elite, Sunday 16 October (10:30-16:35) – 257.3km
Beat the Heat
Following the release of the Beat the Heat booklet, distributed to National Federations in July, the UCI has set up a protocol in case of extreme heat. From the end of September, a 4-member group of experts (1) will examine the weather forecast, and will meet before each road race. Daily checks of the temperature will be conducted by two UCI representatives using thermal stress indicators. The UCI will take decisions after consulting this group of experts, the President of the Athletes’ Commission Bobbie Traksel and the President of the Commissaires’ Panel Ingo Rees.
The following measures may be decided in the event of high temperatures:
• For the Men Elite road race: to reduce the 150km initial distance,
• For all other road races: to reduce the number of laps of the circuit.
Furthermore, the UCI and the Doha 2016 Organising Committee will implement certain technical solutions for the races:
• Two motorbikes moving through the race convoy to supply the riders with water,
• Distribution of water and ice to the teams before each race in the start parking area,
• Supply of 10,000 TACX bottles for teams.
In addition to the measures introduced in 2016 and further improvements planned for the 2017 season, the following specific measures have been taken for the 2016 UCI Road World Championships in Doha:
• Road works to remove and adapt traffic islands to improve the racing line of the final 1.5 kilometres of the circuit;
• The position of barriers will be appropriately adapted to take into account the width of the road in certain sections;
• The caravan will feature smaller, lighter trail-type motorbikes without panniers;
• All vehicles will be driven by people with significant previous experience of driving at races.
How to follow the race
Watch the UCI Road World Championships 2016 live on the official UCI YouTube channel tv.uci.ch.
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The official event hashtag is #UCIDoha2016
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