Savio says Androni Venezuela will chase stage wins and team classification in Tour de Langkawi
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Savio says Androni Venezuela will chase stage wins and team classification in Tour de Langkawi

by Shane Stokes at 7:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
Italian manager concedes team may not have strength in depth to take overall win in 2013

AndroniAlthough his team has won four out of the past five editions and has taken six titles in all, more than any other squad, Androni Venezuela team manager Gianni Savio is downplaying the chances of coming out best in the 2013 Tour de Langkawi.

The Italian has said that the departures of José Rujano (who won in 2011 with ISD Neri, then moved back to Savio’s team the following year), Jonathan Monsalve and José Serpa means that the team will need to take a different approach in 2013.

“We won’t be coming with the goal of winning the overall individual title as we did these past few years with Serpa, Rujano and Monsalve”, Savio said today. “But we’ll be looking at creating some surprises. Even with unknown riders, we should be able to leave our mark on the event.”

One issue for the team is the fact that many more WorldTour squads will take part, meaning that riders of the calibre of Pierre Rolland, Cameron Meyer and others will be competing in Malaysia. While the riders who have left the team may have had the strength and experience to challenge, Savio concedes that some of the new crop of riders need more time to develop.

However he’s not feeling defeatist. “We’ll invent something new,” he insisted. “Firstly, we’ll give a chance to two young Italian neo pros: Diego Rosa, a pure climber who comes from mountain biking and won the queen stage of the Giro Bio last year, and Patrick Facchini, who collected eight wins and was awarded best Italian Elite rider at the Tuttobici Oscar.

“Usually racing as support riders, Carlos Ochoa and Jackson Rodriguez will have more freedom this time and we’ll have a third Venezuelan with time trial national champion Tomas Gil. Our sixth man will be Omar Bertazzo for the sprints.”

“As always, we’ll do our best to honour the race and we’ll try to win the teams’ classification once again.”

Le Tour de Langkawi chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal recognised that Savio’s riders have played a major role in the race’s history, winning the overall classification six out of the twelve times the squad has taken part.

Those victors are Hernan Dario Munoz (2002), Freddy Gonzalez (2004), Ruslan Ivanov (2008), José Serpa (2009), Jonathan Monsalve (2011) and, again, José Serpa in 2012. His riders also picked up the team classification in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012.

“Androni’s team spirit is something we always enjoy to witness,” said Emir Abdul Jalal. “We might see it even more this year as they’ll face a harder challenge, especially in Genting Highlands where fans have been used to see them winning no less than eight times in the past ten years! Gianni Savio is also one of the strongest supporters of our event and our country in the world of cycling, so he’s welcome back to Malaysia any time. It’ll be interesting to watch his riders in the underdog role this year.”

A number of strong teams have already been confirmed for the race, including Garmin – Sharp, Astana, Orica GreenEdge and Europcar. Several other big squads are set to be announced before the start.

The 2.HC event will be preceded by a circuit race on Langkawi island on February 20th. The race proper then gets underway the following day with a 163.7 kilometre stage from Kangar to Kulim, and will run for ten stages. These will include summit finishes at Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands, as well as a final stage in Kuala Terengganu.

Le Tour De Langkawi 2013:

Team Androni-Venezuela:

Tomas Aurelio Gil Martinez (Venezuela), Carlos José Ochoa (Venezuela), Jackson Rodriguez (Venezuela), Omar Bertazzo (Italy), Patrick Facchini (Italy) and Diego Rosa (Italy)

Race route:

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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