Five reasons why we miss the Tour of Qatar

This year's Tour of Qatar should have taken place this week, but was cancelled. Here are five reasons why it's left a hole in our lives

Katusha on stage two of the 2016 Tour of Qatar.

(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Professional cyclists should be racing in the exposed wind-swept roads of the Tour of Qatar this week – just as they have done for the past 15 years. Qatar's decision to call off the race this winter, however, has left a hole in the calendar and in the hearts of cycling fans.

The UCI scheduled the 2017 edition for February 6 to 10, with the women's race the week before. The race provided many classics stars the race preparation that they needed. Without it, they are lining up in various smaller races around Europe, in training camps or – as in Iljo Keisse's case – riding more on the track.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.