Recently finished is the sixth Tour of Qatar, a bizarre cycle race around the hinterlands of Qatar. Bizarre in that in the race traverses a pancake flat desert, with almost no spectators, in a country with no history or precedent of cycling.
But that could be about to change. As reported on VeloMondial, Qatar's sovereign Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani has approved a plan to create a 30km cooled cycle path in Doha. Using cold ground water, the track should enable Qataris to get on their bikes and discover the joys of pedalling.
Sport is seen in Qatar as a great driver for international recognition, generating tourism and inward investment. The Sports City project was recently completed and hosted the 2006 Asian games, but the Qatari's have a bigger prize in sight - the Olympics:
'Sheikh Saoud bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani, secretary general of Qatar's National Olympic Committee, said: "Qatar is 100% committed to this cause. "I'm confident we will win 2016 but, if not, we will bid until we succeed."'
More on the astonishing transformation of Qatar to follow.