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Posted On: 19 September 2016 09:43 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:16 pm

Qatar national coach predicts fierce battles at UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016

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Ahmad Al Burdaini

18 September 2016 – Doha, Qatar: Qatar coach and former international Tareq Esmaili believes that fans will enjoy exceptional competitions when the world’s best road cyclists descend on Qatar for the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016 in four weeks’ time.

Qatar’s national coach is a busy man these days; when not overseeing every aspect of his team’s training sessions in Europe, he avidly follows the cycling action around the world.

2016 has been an unforgettable season of racing so far, and the former Qatar international felt that four nations could vie for the most number of podium finishes in Doha.

“I think it’ll be a straight fight between Belgium, France, Great Britain and the USA for the title of overall UCI World Champions,” he said.

TareqPictured above: Tareq Esmaili

He believes that the pinnacle competitions of Doha 2016, the men’s and women’s Elite Road Races, will be fiercely contested and difficult to predict.

“According to me, Slovakian Peter Sagan, Briton Mark Cavendish and Belgian Greg van Avermaet are the top three riders heading to Doha. As for favorites among women, I’ll need to look more carefully at the line-ups as there’re several of them,” he said.

Qatar is expected to field three cyclists — Ahmed Elbourdainy (elite men's race), Farhan Farzi and Jassim Al Jabri (junior individual time trial) — at the races at home.

Reflecting on his young team, the coach is proud of his charges’ progress, and believes they will learn from competing amongst the world’s best on home soil.

“One should understand we’re still only developing as a cycling nation and it’s impossible for us to compete against the big boys. My wards will try their best to do well, but we shouldn’t put undue expectations on them,” he said.

The UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016 are the climax of the road cycling season, and will see 12 individual titles of UCI World Champion awarded to men and women in the Elite, Under-23 and Junior road races and time trials, as well as two titles for the men’s and women’s team time trials.

The Men’s Elite Road Race is the final competition of Doha 2016, and will be held on Saturday, 16 October. The Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial will be held five days earlier, with both events finishing at the iconic Pearl-Qatar.

Are you excited for the UCI championships? Are you fans of cycling? Will you be following the competition? Comment below!