Yep, starting this weekend, it's the Tour of Qatar! Six days of flat spins around the sands of the richest little peninsula in Cycling.
Some resources, on the flip...
The race itself is owned by everyone's good friends the Amaury Sports Org. And even though it's not a Pro Tour event, with some hefty prize money up for grabs, the list of teams is nothing to sneeze at. See the official website for Christian Prudhomme's welcoming message.
The race starts with a 6km team prologue around Doha, before embarking on a series of repetitive flat stages leading to a bunch sprint or breakaway, usually finishing up back in Doha. Sounds silly, but for this time of year I am sure the riders find this a good way to get the feeling back, and the bunch sprints, according to the start lists, promise to be interesting. In attendance:
Boonen, Steegmans, Petacchi (plus his train), Eeckhout, Van Bon, Hoste, Steels, Haselbacher, Ventoso, Forster, Eisel, and probably several other guys who have a chance at the moulah.
Not sure about live coverage... not that I'll be up at midday Qatari time to watch, but will update as I figure it out.