Forster aiming for repeat stage win with UnitedHealthcare in 2012 Tour de Langkawi
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Forster aiming for repeat stage win with UnitedHealthcare in 2012 Tour de Langkawi

by VeloNation Press at 6:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
 
German sprinter returns to Malaysian event

Robert ForsterJoining strong squads such as UCI ProTeams Garmin-Cervélo and Astana in the lineup, the American UnitedHealthcare has confirmed its lineup for the 2012 Tour de Langkawi. This year’s stage eight winner Robert Forster will once again lead the team, the big German sprinter aiming to clock up more success for the Pro Continental outfit.

Forster has previously clocked up three stage wins in the Giro d’Italia and one in the Vuelta a España, showing his strength. He will be joined by the Australians Hilton Clarke, Jonathan Clarke and Karl Menzies, plus the American duo Adrian Hegyvari and Jake Keough.

They will be guided by the well-known Belgian directeur sportif Hendrik Redant. Last year he worked in as part of radio tour for the Malaysian event, having been left high and dry after the collapse of the Pegasus squad; contact there with the UnitedHealthcare team let to him taking up a directeur sportif role, and he’ll consequently return to Malaysia with new direction.

The team’s general manager Mike Tamayo acknowledges that the overall race lineup will be stronger than it was in 2011, yet is determined to improve on the team’s performance. “Team UnitedHealthcare is very motivated about the 2012 Le Tour de Langkawi…we are aware of the growth of the race and cycling in Malaysia, but we plan on bigger success at the 2012 edition.”

The race’s chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal was impressed with how Forster performed in 2011, overcoming two riders who would go on to be the most successful neo-pro sprinters of the season. “A sprinter with prestigious wins under his belt, he showed the young guns Andrea Guardini and Marcel Kittel that he was still one of the fastest cyclists in the world,” he said. “We’re delighted to welcome him and his team back. I’m sure that after their first experience in Malaysia, they’ll be even stronger this time around.”

The 2012 Tour de Langkawi will once again have UCI 2.HC ranking, just one level below the top-ranked WorldTour. It begins with a 20.3 kilometre time trial in Putrajaya on February 24th. Many of the ten stages are expected to finish in bunch sprints, but the wall-like finish on Genting Highlands should pitch the race towards riders such as Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) and Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), who have both confirmed that they will take part.

United Healthcare for 2012 Tour de Langkawi:

Robert Forster (Ger), Hilton Clarke (Aus), Jonathan Clarke (Aus), Adrian Hegyvari (Usa), Jake Keough (Usa) And Karl Menzies (Aus)

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