LANGKAWI, Feb 19 – Its all systems go for the 18th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi that will feature an international field, as 31 nations are represented on the provisional start list of 132 riders, divided into 22 teams for the race that kicks off on Feb 21.
LTdL chief executive officer Emir Abdul Jalal said all the participating teams had arrived, except for team Androni and a rider from Team RTS and that they (LTdL organizers) were for the prestigious race that is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
All five continents will be represented: 12 countries from Europe (Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Slovenia, Germany, Great-Britain, Poland, Belgium, Lithuania, Russia and Denmark), 8 from Asia (Japan, China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Iran), 4 from America (Colombia, Argentina, USA and Venezuela) and Africa (South Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Namibia) and 2 from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand).
“We’re delighted to provide the Malaysian public with such a diverse international bunch of cyclists,” said Emir.
“It also means that a lot of people from different countries will be able to locate Malaysia on the map of the world, thanks to cycling because of our extensive media coverage outside the country.”
Once again, Le Tour de Langkawi should be spectacular race because of the bunch sprints and winner of eleven stages in the past two editions, Andrea Guardini, now with Astana.
The LTdL 2013, which carries the slogan “The Heat is On”, will officially begin in Kangar on Feb 21 and the race comprises 10 stages, covering 1469.7 kilometres.
As a prelude to the main event, the Langkawi Hot Ride, a leisure ride to rev up the atmosphere, would be held at Dataran Lang, tomorrow.
“The ride over a distance of 4-5 km will provide local fans an opportunity to usher in the atmosphere of the main race,” he said.
The race is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) as a 2.HC (hors category) race on the UCI Asia Tour calendar, organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, via the National Sports Council (NSC) in association with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF). – Bernama