LET’S NOT HOLD THE WORLDS IN QATAR AGAIN
The men’s road race enjoyed a spectacular phase early on, out in the desert, and it had a prestigious and bankable winner in Peter Sagan. But the rest of the Qatar World Championships were thoroughly disappointing. The circuit was badly designed for good racing or viewing, with long stretches of building sites as a backdrop. Few fans travelled to see their heroes and heroines race, and even fewer local fans showed up, meaning that the unique, colourful atmosphere of the Worlds was completely missing. The flat atmosphere made staid races look even worse. And that’s all before the heat was taken into consideration, along with allegations that a female Norwegian rider was hit by a police car, deliberately, after her race.
Fans by the roadside are an essential component of good bike racing, and the UCI’s decision to take the Worlds to Qatar was on the whole a poor one.