The course for the 2016 Road World Championships in Qatar will not be totally flat like the surrounding natural terrain a UCI spokesperson has told Cycling Weekly.

The titles are also set to be moved from the traditional September time slot to mid-October in an effort to avoid extreme hot and blustery weather in what will be an Olympic year.

The decision could force various national teams, including Great Britain, to revise their respective long-term outlooks with sprinters.

“Qatar has been chosen to organise the 2016 UCI Road World Championships, but the courses visited did not meet the requirements for a world championship,” said UCI sport and technical director Philippe Chevallier.

“It’s been decided to build a hilly course,” he continued referring to the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow as an example.

“The organising committee has accepted these conditions and will have to work in order to meet these requirements.”

British Cycling endurance road coach Rod Ellingworth recently indicated Mark Cavendish would likely spearhead the GB assault in Qatar assuming the course reflected the existing landscape.

“I was thinking we’ve got a flat worlds again in 2016 so that’s again another target for us having Cav, if he continues to stay one of the fastest out there,” Ellingworth had said. 

Cavendish won the last flat road world championship two years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark. There does not seem to be another chance for sprinters to vie for the rainbow jersey between now and Qatar with meets in Florence, Spain and America all reported to feature courses that range from mountainous to undulating.

Possible dates for the 2016 world titles will be further discussed at meetings scheduled for next year.

“There is no doubt that [it] could not take place at the same annual period. We have planned to organise our 2016 calendar and postpone this event around mid-October in order to avoid the potential extreme weather conditions in September,” Chevallier said.

Qatar was the only nation to bid for the 2016 road world titles, which it secured in September.

Read more in a Tour de France special edition of Cycling Weekly magazine, out Thursday for £3.99




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  • Paul Doherty

    As somebody who lives (and cycles) in Qatar, I’m intrigued to know how the course can be made sufficiently hilly to deter the likes of Cav. I think that the highest point in Qatar is about 60 metres above sea level (the steepest gradient is the ramp up to the car park at the General Post Office)

  • Ken Evans

    “The titles are also set to be moved from the traditional September time slot to mid-October in an effort to avoid extreme hot and blustery weather in what will be an Olympic year.”—-This is too late in the season, the SPRING Classics are more than 6 months earlier, the season is already long, the Worlds used to be in August. Riders used to ride the Tour De France, then prepare for the Worlds, with such a late Worlds, most riders will have ended their season, then be expected to be in top form for the Worlds, then end their season ! The Worlds used also to be somewhere where teams could sign riders, and fix contracts for the following season. Young riders that showed well in the Worlds, could also get guest places in pro teams for the few weeks left of the season. I think it would be better to use a different location for the Worlds, than have them in mid October. Are fans expected to travel all the way to Qatar, in mid October ???? If Qatar wants to be involved in pro cycling, then sponsorship of existing races would be more practical, (especially of less sponsored categories, such as women’s racing, etc).