The annual Tour of Qatar is a professional stage road race founded in 2002. The Women’s stages were introduced in 2009 and the race forms part of the UCI Asia Tour. Now in its fifth year, the Ladies Tour of Qatar is considered a key race on the professional women’s circuit.
2013 saw the race expand, providing an extra stage to the Ladies tour, making it a four stage race instead of three. There 15 teams of six riders taking part. The race is organised by the Qatar Cycling federation and the race has become notorious for its flat roads suitable for sprint finishes providing some challenging racing. Stage one of the 2013 race was 60.3 miles with Chloe Hosking taking the win in the opening stage. Stage two was 59.7 miles, seeing Kirsten Wild take the stage win. Stage three was 69.9 miles, with Kirsten Wild taking another win. And the Final stage was 53.7 miles – Wild took another stage win, and the win overall. The race was broadcast live on Al Jazeera TV, to a Worldwide audience.
The race has grown in size and popularity over the past five years with some of the biggest names in women’s cycling opting to compete in such a prestigious event. Many nationalities compete, all hoping to wear the golden jersey worn by the leader of the general classification.