Katusha team riders cycle past a mosque during the first stage time trial of the Tour of Qatar cycling race, around the West Bay Lagoon in Doha, Qatar, 07 February 2010.
Quickstep team rider Tom Boonen of Belgium leads a second breakaway during the second stage of the Tour of Qatar cycling race, between the Camel Race Track and Qatar Foundation near Doha, Qatar, 08 February 2010. Topsport team rider Geert Steurs of Belgium won the stage.
Topsport team rider Geert Steurs (L) of Belgium celebrates as he crosses the finish line ahead of Vacansoleil team rider Wouter Mol of the Netherlands to win the second stage of the Tour of Qatar cycling race, between the Camel Race Track and Qatar Foundation near Doha, Qatar, 08 February 2010.
The 2010 Tour of Qatar began yesterday (or two days ago, depending on your time zone) and continues through the end of this week, with 16 teams competing. USA viewing options are limited (which is a polite way of writing almost non existent), with a one hour show on Versus almost two weeks from now on Sunday, February 21.
The current monarch, Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, began the Tour the Qatar in 2002, one year after overthrowing dear old dad in a coup. The emirate boasts wide, smooth roads that are great for cycling on, and the flat terrain favors sprinters.