Omega Pharma Quick Step confirmed amongst five WorldTour teams for Tour de Langkawi
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Omega Pharma Quick Step confirmed amongst five WorldTour teams for Tour de Langkawi

by VeloNation Press at 5:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
 
Total of 22 squads announced for expanding race

Tour de LangkawiFeaturing the best lineup in a long time, the organisers of Le Tour de Langkawi have confirmed that five WorldTour teams will be amongst the field when the race begins in exactly one month’s time.

Garmin – Sharp and Astana are returning after racing there last year, while Omega Pharma Quick Step has now been added to the lineup, as well as the previously-confirmed Orica GreenEdge and Blanco Pro Cycling (former Rabobank).

“Our event hasn’t reached that number of teams representing the World Tour since 2007,” said the race’s chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal. “Adding to the quality of Pro Continental teams like Europcar coming with Pierre Rolland, we clearly have the best start list of the past decade.

“Now it’s up to the cyclists to deliver the show and to the riders of lower levelled teams to challenge the stars of the Pro Teams.”

The race has been making steady progression and growth in recent years and is one of the top early season events. In 2012 Garmin-Sharp and Astana lined out and according to Emir Abdul Jalal, their request to return reflects well on the organisation.

“Their second enrolment back to back is meaningful to us,” he said. “It clearly shows that they’ve appreciated the quality of our organization. They have reiterated their long-term commitment to LTdL.”

At the same time, he notes that there has been a push by teams to be able to take part, with those squads being far more proactive than before. This too is interpreted as a sign of approval. “While in the past it was up to us to contact the teams, some of them have questioned us about their possible participation to our race this year,” he said. “We’re sorry for the bidding teams of different categories and origins we couldn’t accommodate this time around but we’re delighted with the field we’ll be able to present to Malaysian fans.”

Emir Abdul Jalal told VeloNation in the past that the race wanted to step up to the WorldTour level in the future. The increase in quality of the participating teams continues the progression towards that goal.

This year’s race will be preceded by a circuit event on Langkawi island on February 20th. It will then begin in Kangar on February 21st and will run for ten stages.

The race outcome is likely to be decided by summit finishes at Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands.


Tour de Langkawi 2013 – confirmed teams:

WorldTour
:

Garmin Sharp (GRS) - USA
Astana Pro Team (AST) - KAZ
Orica GreenEdge (OGE) - AUS
Blanco Pro Cycling Team (BLA) - NED
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team (OPQ) - BEL

Pro Continental:

Vini Fantini (VIN) - GBR
Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team (UHC) - USA
Champion System Pro Cycling Team (CSS) - CHN
Team Europcar (EUC) - FRA
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela (AND) - ITA
MTN - Qhubeka (MTN) – RSA

Continental:


Tabriz Petrochemical Team (TPT) - IRI
RTS Racing Team (RTS) - TPE
Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) - MAS
OCBC Singapore Continental Cycling Team (TSI) - SIN
Team Nippo (PPO) - JPN
Aisan Racing Team (AIS) - JPN
KSPO (KSP) - KOR
Hengxiang Cycling Team (HEN) - CHN
Synergy - Baku Cycling Project
National Malaysia National Cycling Federation
Indonesia National Team

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