Although Cervelo Bigla were controversially not invited, the Tour of Qatar (2nd to 5th February) will be the first time we see a lot of the top riders race together this year, plus the race will no doubt be good practice for the Worlds too. New signing Eileen Roe of Lares Waowdeals will be looking to make a mark at her first race of 2016, for a team who have made it clear they are aiming for big results this year. However Wiggle High5 are seen to be the most dominant team, not least by Hitec manager Karl Lima who says they look “frighteningly strong, with 4 super-riders that used to ride for Hitec.” One of those former Hitec riders is Audrey Cordon, who told FFC she is, like many riders, aiming for Rio 2016. Coryn Rivera of UHC says of the US selection:
“To make one of the four spots will take some consistency during the qualification period and getting one of those WorldTour wins, and that will be an automatic spot. If nobody gets that automatic spot it will come down to consistency in the hilly, one-day races.”
Full start list for Qatar here.
Jen George of Drops Cycling will start her road season at Le Samyn on the 2nd March. Her schedule for this year will be mostly Europe centric, including the Tour of Britain.
The Deakin University Elite Womens Race, part of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean race, will take place this Saturday. It will not be shown live on TV though. You can see a live preview of the whole event this Friday at 7.30pm UK time, 8.30pm CET at Cyclinghub.tv.