Katusha, Belkin, Orica GreenEdge and Astana join Tinkoff Saxo at 2014 Tour de Langkawi
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Katusha, Belkin, Orica GreenEdge and Astana join Tinkoff Saxo at 2014 Tour de Langkawi

by VeloNation Press at 5:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
MTN Qhubeka, Colombia, UnitedHealthcare and Androni Giocattoli also confirmed amongst 20 teams

Tour de LangkawiAfter earlier confirming that Saxo Tinkoff – or Tinkoff Saxo as it will be known after Monday’s announcement of a change of ownership – would make its debut in the Tour de Lankgawi, race organisers have announced the names of four other WorldTour teams for the race.

The Katusha team will also ride the race for the first-ever time, while Belkin, Orica GreenEdge and Astana will also travel to Malaysia for the 2.HC event.

Having five WorldTour teams matches the number from this season, but the organisers are hoping for more. “We have two more spots available for Pro Teams as per now,” said chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal. “We’re trying hard to get two more of the world’s best teams.”

Jalal confirmed that two squads who rode before won’t be able to make it this time round. “Compared to last year, we’ve lost the participation of Garmin-Sharp and Omega Pharma-Quick Step. They’ve told us they were happy with their experience and they like our race very much but this time around, it could simply not fit into their schedule,” he stated.

“They’ll be welcome back next year. However, they’ve been replaced by two of the biggest teams in the world: Katusha from Russia and Tinkoff-Saxo.”

The latter features Alberto Contador, although it is not expected that he will travel to Malaysia.

Tinkov previously had a team in the event; the Tinkoff Credit Systems squad rode in 2007. The race represented its first event of the year and also its first ever pro victory. That went to Pavel Brutt, who triumphed into Seremban on stage nine.

A total of 22 teams will compete in the race, which begins on Langkawi island on February 27th and runs for ten days in all.

Four Pro Continental teams have also been confirmed; they are MTN Qhubeka from Africa, UnitedHealthcare from the US, Italian-based Androni Giocattoli and the South American Team Colombia, which will be making its debut.

The provisional lineup for the team includes former world under 23 champion Fabio Duarte, who finished second behind race winner Vincenzo Nibali on the queen stage of the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

Emir said that the team could bring more squads over but wanted to strike the right balance. “We could get more European teams as many of them are willing to come to Malaysia, but we also feel that it is our duty as Asian organizers to give the riders of our continent a chance to perform at the highest level.”

Because of that, the eight Continental teams plus three national squads announced today are all from the Asian continent.

They are Malaysia’s Terengganu TSG, KSPO from Korea, Aisan Racing from Japan, Giant-Champion System (formerly known as Max Success) from China, CCN Gios from Brunei, OCBC Singapore, Synergy Baku from Azerbaijan and Tabriz Petrochemical from Iran. The national squads are those from Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

The race will cover 1,506.5 kilometres over the ten days, and features stage finishes in Langkawi, Taiping, Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands, Rembau, Pontian Kechil, Pekan, Marang and two in Kuala Terengganu.

Confirmed teams:

World Tour (5)

Belkin-Pro Cycling Team (Ned)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
Orica Greenedge (Aus)
Katusha (Rus)
Team Saxo Tinkoff (Den)

Professional Continental (4)

Colombia (Col)
Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela (Ita)
Mtn - Qhubeka (RSA)
Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)

Continental (8)

Terengganu Cycling Team (Mas)
Aisan Racing Team (Jpn)
Ocbc Singapore Continental Cycling Team (Sin)
Tabriz Petrochemical Team (Iri)
Synergy Baku Cycling Project (Aze)
Kspo (Kor)
Ccn Gios Cycling Team (Bru)
Giant-Champion System Pro Cycling (Chn)

National (3)

Hong Kong

Le Tour de Langkawi 2014 (2.HC):

Stage 1, Thursday 27th February 2014: Langkawi (101.1km)
Stage 2, Friday 28th February 2014: Sungai Petani - Taiping (132.5km)
Stage 3, Saturday 1st March 2014: Kampar - Kuala Lumpur (166.5km)
Stage 4, Sunday 2nd March 2014: MAS Subang - Genting Highlands (110.9km)
Stage 5, Monday 3rd March 2014: Karak - Rembau (139.3km)
Stage 6, Tuesday 4th March 2014: Melaka - Pontian Kechil (199.1km)
Stage 7, Wednesday 5th March 2014: Kota Tinggi - Pekan (230.1km)
Stage 8, Thursday 6th March 2014: Kuantan - Marang (202.6km)
Stage 9, Friday 7th March 2014: Bandar Permaisuri - Kuala Terengganu (109.7km)
Stage 10, Saturday 8th March 2014: Tasik Kenyir - Kuala Terenganu Loop (114.7km)

Total distance: 1506.5km


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