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"We went out there on Thursday to check out the opening loop before we get to the circuit. It's super open out there and super windy."

Photo: Sirotti

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15.10.2016 @ 15:38 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Luke Rowe is all set for battle in the sweltering conditions of Qatar ahead of Sunday's World Championship road race.

 

The Welshman will line up as part of a nine-man Great Britain squad for the 257-kilometre showpiece, with the race likely to favour the fast men in the bunch.

 

Rowe will look to take on a team role in Doha, and has spent the last few days getting used to the much-publicised heat.

"We travelled over on Monday so we'll have been here for six days by the time we race," Rowe explained to TeamSky.com. "So it's just a case of trying to acclimatise as much as we can in a short space of time. As everyone knows from the media and watching the previous races it's filthy hot out here. It really is like riding in an oven!

 

"I've seen well over 40 degrees on the Garmin quite a few times. So that is going to be one of the biggest challenges - staying hydrated on Sunday. But we're all pumped for the race and looking forward to the challenge."

 

 

For Rowe the chance to link up with Great Britain is always an opportunity he relishes - with the chance to compete alongside old friends and team-mates.

 

"Whenever all the GB lads come together from the different teams for a race like this we have such a good laugh. We get on really well and throughout our careers we've ridden together with each other at a few points - whether that's internationally or for our trade teams. But the morale is really high and there's plenty of banter right around the table."

 

Team unity will be required in tough conditions, with the course heading out for an exposed desert loop before culminating in finishing circuits around The Pearl.

 

On that potentially pivotal section, Rowe added: "We went out there on Thursday to check out the opening loop before we get to the circuit. It's super open out there and super windy. But having said that the forecast for Sunday is for substantially less wind than we saw when we did the reccy. It's really exposed and traditionally like what we'd see at the Tour of Qatar - open, exposed, crosswinds, echelons etc. It all depends how the wind is on the day. If there's any wind at all it will split up big time I'd say. But we'll just have to see how it is on race day."

 

Despite rumours of a possible shortened race due to the sweltering conditions, Rowe maintains the best preparation is remain focused on a full-length encounter.

 

"The plan is to just forget about it. We prepare for 260km and then anything less is a bonus. It wouldn't be a bad thing if they did shorten it but whether they do or don't it's the same for everyone. You just have to get on with it."

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