With a year to go before the 2016 World Championships in Qatar, International Cycling Union (UCI) president is confident that Doha weather will not be adverse for riders’ health.
UCI chief Brian Cookson was present at this week’s Abu Dhabi Tour, where riders have consistently faced temperatures between 36 and 40 degrees, while the temperatures have remained below that range in the Qatari capital.
“All the indications are that it won’t be quite as hot in Qatar as it was in Abu Dhabi,” Cookson was quoted as saying by Cyclingnews. “The UCI World Championships will be held a little bit later than the Abu Dhabi Tour and I’ve been told that the temperatures that the riders raced in were exceptional. I think we will be okay but we will be mindful of the riders’ health. Riders’ health will take precedence.”
The dates for the 2016 event, which runs from October 9-16, have been pushed back by two weeks from when the world championships are usually held — September.
Cookson added that the Extreme Weather Protocol will be in effect at the Worlds.
The protocol was first brought in effect at this year’s Giro before the international cycling body formally accepted it recently to come into place from 2016 season onwards.
Under this system, even riders will have the option for calling a meeting if adverse competition conditions exist, including heat, snow, strong winds, etc. Following discussions, changes to the course, starting and ending points can be made. There would also be an option to neutralise sections of the race or to cancel the event. In the absence of the protocol, the decision is left with the organisers.
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