The women of the Orange & Black are primed to begin their 2015 season on the banks of the Persian Gulf at the Ladies Tour of Qatar from February 3-6.
In the 7th edition of the race, the Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies ladies will be making their first appearance at the prestigious UCI 2.1 event, and will toe the start-line alongside 14 of the top teams from around the world.
The team is excited to try its hand in the inevitable sprint-finishes of the desert region with Leah Kirchmann, the current Canadian criterium, road race, and time trial champion, who is eager to begin her season with a high-caliber victory.
Positioning and tactics will be crucial if the winds decide to whip, and with six-rider teams, it will be difficult for any one team to control the race from start to finish.
“We expect open and windy conditions that could split the race,” said Women’s Performance Director Pat McCarty. “The team will need to be attentive throughout the week to keep each other safe and in position to grab a stage win as well as fight for the overall.”
Following the conclusion of the race, the team will return to the United States to begin their team training camp from February 8-23 in Borrego Springs, CA.
Ladies Tour of Qatar Stages:
Stage 1: Museum of Islamic Art – Dukhan Beach (98.5km)
Stage 2: Al Zubarah Fort – Madinat Al Shamal (112.5km)
Stage 3: Souq Waqif – Ah Khor Corniche (93.5km)
Stage 4: Sealine Beach Resort – Doha Corniche (85km)
Ladies Tour of Qatar Roster:
– Annie Ewart
– Janel Holcomb
– Maura Kinsella
– Leah Kirchmann
– Alison Tetrick
– Brianna Walle