Savio’s team regrets missing this year’s Tour de Langakwi
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Savio’s team regrets missing this year’s Tour de Langakwi

by Conal Andrews at 10:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Team Androni–Diquigiovanni general manager Gianni Savio has said that he regrets that his team will have to pass up on the chance to compete in this year’s Tour de Langkawi. The suave Italian has named the change in timing of the race as the reason why his riders will, for the first time in many years, not be travelling to Malaysia.

“The problem is that the new organization has changed the race date which, in the past, was usually held in February to 1st to 7th March,” he said. “That is just two days before the Tirreno-Adriatico, the most important race in Italy after the Giro d'Italia. [It’s] a world calendar race that we won last year with our leader Michele Scarponi.

“I am really sorry that the team will not to be able to participate in Le Tour de Langkawi because I like Malaysia very much. Le Tour de Langkawi has always been good to our team, where we have always been a protagonist in the past.”

Savio’s team raced to its first Malaysian success ten years ago, when Jamie Drew came out on top on stage two. Four years later Freddy Gonzalez won the race outright, then the next three editions saw top three overall placings courtesy of Jose Rujano (second, 2005), Gabriele Missaglia (third, 2006) and Jose Serpa (second, 2007).

The team jumped back to the top of the podium in 2008 and 2009, when Ruslan Ivanov and Serpa came out best.

The latter edition saw a serious dominance by the squad. “Last year, we established another record by winning the Overall Individual Classification through Josè Serpa, the Overall Team Classification, the King of Mountains, also with Serpa and the Point Classification with Mattia Gavazzi. We also won five stages,” said a proud Savio.

However, this time round, it’s certain that the overall honours will head elsewhere. The two biggest teams confirmed thus far are the ProTour Footon Servetto squad plus the ISD-Neri Professional Continental setup, and they will be favourites to fight it out for final success. There will be 20 teams in all, each featuring six riders.

Savio feels sure that his team would have performed well, and hopes that the race returns to its traditional timeframe in 2011.

“Last month, I came back from Argentina where we won four stages in Tour de San Luis - two with Alberto Loddo, one with Jackson Rodriguez and one with Luis Mate. We also won the team classification and second place with Josè Serpa in the overall individual classification, which was won by Vincenzo Nibali.”

“So we have begun the new season very well. It is always my philosophy to participate any race that we take part in with the best team so as to honour the race. I hope that next year Le Tour de Langkawi will return to the native date in February.”

The 15th edition of the Hors Category tour will start on March 1st with a 174.5 kilometre race from Kota Bharu to Kuala Berang. Other stages are Kuala Terengganu - Chukai (182.3km); Pekan - Mersing (145.6km); Mersin-Parit Sulong (163.5km); Muar - Port Dickson (116.9km) Putrajaya - Genting Highlands (102.8km) and Kuala Kubu Baru - Dataran Merdeka (133.7km).


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