New Tour of Borneo launched on UCI calendar
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Tour of Borneo launched on UCI calendar

by VeloNation Press at 10:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Race will feature teams from around the world

The globalisation of cycling appears to be continuing with the addition of another new race to the Asian calendar, which intends to feature teams from all five continents. The inaugural Tour of Borneo will be held between April 27th and May 1st, beginning as a 2.2 event but having the aim to move up the UCI rankings in future editions.

A total of 20 teams are planned, coming from America, Europe, Africa, Oceania and Asia. “The race is beginning as a 2.2 but the aim is to develop in time and to become a 2.1, providing the budget is there,” a spokesperson told VeloNation today. “Also, in future it is planned to go into Brunei and Indonesia, becoming an intercountry race.”

Borneo is made up of those two countries plus Malaysia, with the latter being the only region to be visited in the inaugural edition.

The five day event will total 674.4 kilometres, beginning on April 27th with a 68 kilometre race on Padang Bandaran Semporna Circuit. The longest stage is the 211.3 kilometre race from Sepilok in Sandakan to the Hotel Perkasa in Kundasang, which should also be the toughest due to the climbs along the route.

“I believe the combination of these routes have been selected to bring excitement and challenge for the riders,” said the race patron, the Honourable YB Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie bin Haji Apdal at today’s launch in Putrajaya.

Tour of Borneo“The 5 stage race will start from my beloved hometown Semporna, an idyllic district renowned for its best diving spots in the world like Sipadan, Mabul and Sitangkai. From there the riders will proceed to Tawau, Lahad Datu, and Sandakan before they face the grueling mountain highlands leading to Kundasang, the base of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia. The race will end in the West Coast of Sabah, on 1st of May 2012 covering the district of Kota Kinabalu, Papar and Penampang.”

The initial ranking will mean that the field will be made up of continental teams next season. When it steps up a level, Pro continental teams can then become involved.

Negotiations are currently taking place with national TV channels about broadcasting highlights. National and international press will both cover the event, and the organisers believes that this offers important publicity platforms to sponsors who may wish to get involved.

The race is sanctioned by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation, which also oversees the Jelajah Malaysia and Tour de Langkawi.

The latter will once again be a 2.HC event in 2012, and will include UCI ProTeams Garmin-Cervélo and Astana, as well as the ProContinental squad United Healthcare (USA) plus the Continental squads MTN Qhubeka (South Africa), Aisan Racing Team (Japan), Chipotle Development Team (USA), PureBlack Racing (New Zealand), Drapac Professional Cycling (Australia), Max Success Sports (China), Terengganu Pro-Asia Cycling Team and LeTua Cycling Team (both Malaysia), plus the national teams of Malaysia and Taiwan.

More teams are expected to be confirmed between now and the February 24th start date. The line-up for the Tour of Borneo is yet to be released.

Tour of Borneo 2012

Stage 1 - Padang Bandaran Semporna Circuit = 68km
Stage 2 - Waterfront Tawau - Lahad Datu = 143.7km
Stage 3 - Lahad Datu - Bandar Indah, Sandakan = 160.1km
Stage 4 - Sepilok, Sandakan – Hotel Perkasa, Kundasang = 211.3km
Stage 5 - Anjung Senja, Kota Kinabalu = 91.3km

Total distance: 674.4km


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