Tour de Langkawi: Pierre Rolland fixes sights on stage win at Genting Highlands
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Tour de Langkawi: Pierre Rolland fixes sights on stage win at Genting Highlands

by VeloNation Press at 2:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
Double Tour stage winner confirms intention to compete in Malaysia rather than Paris-Nice

Pierre RollandWinner atop Alpe d’Huez in the 2011 Tour de France and at La Toussuire/Les Sybelles this year, as well as tenth and eighth overall respectively, Pierre Rolland has confirmed that he will compete in the Tour de Langkawi next February and wants to win atop the race’s toughest climb.

“I fell in love with Le Tour de Langkawi when I first took part in it back in 2011,” the 26 year old said, referring to a very aggressive performance in the Malaysian event. He went close to winning the Genting Highlands’s stage but after being clear in a solo attack, was caught five kilometres from the summit. Eleven riders got past him before the line, but this disappointment has simply sharpened his resolve for next year’s race.

“Had I known the climb, I would have acted differently,” he said, reflecting on what is one of the toughest ascents in the sport. “I want to go back to Malaysia and win atop of this legendary climb.”

Rolland is a very strong rider for uphill parcours and underlined that ability with his Tour successes plus his King of the Mountains prize in the 2008 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and the 2010 Critérium International. His results mark him out as a potential winner of the 2.HC race, which runs from February 21st to March 2nd.

He will be joined by a solid Europcar team, with his compatriots Bryan Coquard, the Olympic Games Omnium runner-up, Cyril Gautier, Perrig Quemeneur and Kévin Reza plus the Japanese rider Yukiya Arashiro providing him with support.

Le Tour de Langkawi chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal recognises the significance of having a potential Tour de France contender in the race. “To have Pierre Rolland back to LTdL is a great honour,” he said. “His victory as the best young rider of Tour de France in 2011 was a great achievement, and I’d love to see him as winner in Malaysia as well.”

He knows that if Rolland is to take the overall in the race, that result would almost certainly be based on a big performance on the toughest mountain.

“It’s fantastic to hear that a stage winner at L’Alpe d’Huez also considers Genting Highland as a legendary climb and a prestigious win to be posted on the record book of a champion,” said Jalal.

The 2013 race will total almost 1500 kilometres and will begin on Langkawi island with a criterium. This won’t count towards the overall but will increase the amount of racing to eleven stages.

Rolland’s declaration that he will ride in Malaysia means he has chosen that race over Paris-Nice.

More big teams and riders will be announced in the weeks ahead. Astana and Garmin - Sharp are expected to return after taking part earlier this year.

Le Tour De Langkawi 2013:

Stage 1 – Thursday 21 February 2013 : Kangar – Kulim (163.7 Km)
Stage 2 – Friday 22 February 2013 : Serdang – Kuala Kangsar (116.0 Km)
Stage 3 – Saturday 23 February 2013 : Sungai Siput – Cameron Highlands (145.5 Km)
Stage 4 - Sunday 24 February 2013 : Tapah – Kapar (168.0 Km)
Stage 5 – Monday 25 February 2013 : Proton – Genting (108.0 Km)
Stage 6 – Tuesday 26 February 2013 : Mentakab – Kuantan (212.8 Km)
Stage 7 - Wednesday 27 February 2013 : Kuantan – Dungun (149.8 Km)
Stage 8 – Thursday 28 February 2013 : Kuala Terengganu – Tanah Merah (164.5 Km)
Stage 9 – Friday 1 March 2013 : Pasir Puteh – Kuala Berang (123.6 Km)
Stage 10 – Saturday 2 March 2013 : Tasik Kenyir – Kuala Terengganu (114.8 Km)

Total Distance : 1467 km


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