Guardini seeks to add to record number of stage wins in Tour de Langkawi
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guardini seeks to add to record number of stage wins in Tour de Langkawi

by VeloNation Press at 7:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
Italian sprinter and Tour of Turkey winner Dyachenko lead Astana team in Malaysian race

Andrea GuardiniAlready the most successful rider ever in the event as regards stage wins, the upcoming talent Andrea Guardini has confirmed that he will head back again to the Tour de Langkawi in 2013 in search of more triumphs.

The powerful Italian has moved from the Farnese Vini lineup to the WorldTour Astana team and, racing with a bigger team and now 23 years of age, he will aim to step up a level again in the season ahead.

Unsurprisingly, given his five stage victories in 2011 and six this year, the Malaysian event is a big favourite of his. “Le Tour de Langkawi is the race of my heart,” he said. “I like the warmth of the country and its people. The whole environment of this race motivates me tremendously.

“When I discussed my new contract with Astana, it wasn’t difficult to agree on the fact that I’d take part in Le Tour de Langkawi again. The team management has told me straight away that this is a very important race for Astana, as we are the only ProTeam from Asia.”

Guardini was unmatched in last year’s race, appearing to win at will when it came to the big bunch sprints. He also clocked up important success in other events, not least a stage win in the Giro d’Italia.

He beat Mark Cavendish (Sky) in clocking up that victory and wants to keep the momentum going in the top races. “I know how much work I yet have to do to perform in the Grand Tours but I’m tempted to have a go at the 2013 Tour de France since stage one suits the sprinters,” he said.

He should have a more powerful leadout team than at Farnese Vini and this could help him in races such as the Tour.

Guardini will be backed by the Presidential Tour of Turkey winner Alexandr Dyachenko, who may well turn out to be a contender for the overall, as well as Kazakh riders Arman Kamyshev, Alexey Lutsenko and Ruslan Tleubayev, plus the Italian Fabio Aru.

Lutsenko is the world under 23 road race champion and has stepped up to the WorldTour team for 2013. He will also seek to show what he can do, as will Giro della Valle d’Aosta winner Aru.

The Astana team competed in the 2012 race as one of two WorldTour squads. Alexandre Vinokourov was one of those who competed there and proved to be a major hit with the fans and, according to Le Tour de Langkawi CEO Emir Abdul Jalal, those spectators followed his progress for the rest of the season.

“To see him winning the Olympic road race has been one of the highlights of the 2012 season for Malaysian cycling fans after he participated to our event and gave a great show as well,” he said, adding that his participation had a knock-on effect. “His aggressive spirit has inspired a lot of kids who now take up cycling.

“It’s no surprise for us that Vinokourov has selected an excellent team for Le Tour de Langkawi, it’s an honour for us to welcome them again and they look like able to win a lot on all terrains.”

The race is expected to include more WorldTour teams in 2013. Thus far Astana, Garmin-Sharp and Orica GreenEdge have been confirmed, with the Blanco Pro Cycling team also telling VeloNation that it will be there.

The race begins in Kangar on February 21, and will feature ten stages including summit finishes at the Cameron and Genting Highlands.

Astana for le Tour de Langkawi:

Andrea Guardini (Italy), Alexandr Dyachenko (Kazakhstan), Fabio Aru (Italy), Arman Kamyshev (Kazakhstan), Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan), Ruslan Tleubayev (Kazakhstan).

Route details:

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)


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