By Andy Sambidge
Qatar officials set for talks in January in bid to bring world famous race to Gulf state.
Qatar is in talks with organisers of the Tour de France, the world's most prestigious cycle race, with a view to hosting one of its stages, it was revealed on Wednesday.
The Gulf state's cycling authority has written to the event organisers and will enter into talks in January regarding a Doha stage being added to the race, Qatar daily Gulf Times reported.
“We have an official letter from Qatar,” Christophe Marchadier of Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which organises the Tour de France said. “So we will talk about this during the next Tour of Qatar.”
The next edition of the Tour of Qatar gets under way in early July next year.
Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, will be in Doha in January for the discussions with Qatari cycling officials, the paper reported.
While overseas stages of the Tour de France have been limited to Europe so far, Marchadier added that Tokyo was also interested in hosting the event.
“Quebec is also interested, Estonia, Budapest, Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, so there are many options. More than 250 cities are interested to host a stage of the Tour de France in France or Europe. Around 30 want the opening stage,” he told the paper.