Erler, Askari and Mizbani target Tour de Langkawi success with Tabriz Petrochemical team
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Erler, Askari and Mizbani target Tour de Langkawi success with Tabriz Petrochemical team

by Conal Andrews at 11:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
 
Trio amongst strongest riders in 2010 edition

Tobias ErlerOne year after leading the race for several stages, German rider Tobias Erler will head back to the Tour de Langkawi as one of the protected riders on the Tabriz Petrochemical team. The German rider went on to net two stage wins plus second overall in the Presidential Tour of Iran and has undoubtedly gained confidence as a result of his 2010 season.

He will be joined by Hossein Askari and Ghader Mizbani on the team, both Iranian riders having finished in the final top ten overall last year.

Askari was an excellent third overall in the race, the-then Giant Asia rider finishing just 2 minutes 39 seconds behind the overall yellow jersey winner, Jose Rujano Guillen of ISD-Neri. Mizbani, who is also 35 years of age, was ninth and has clocked up a fine 46 wins in his pro career.

Both know the race very well and will be real dangermen. “Last year, Tabriz shocked everyone, especially Spanish pro-tour team Footon-Servetto and ISD-Neri when they won the overall team classification,” said Tour de Langkawi CEO Mohamed Salleh. “With the impressive combination of Iranians, German, Austrian and Russian riders making their way to our shores, this will be interesting to watch.”

They will be backed by former Footon-Servetto rider Markus Eibegger, plus the former Fuji-Servetto and Katusha Continental Team competitor Boris Shpilevsky. Eibegger was sixth overall during his debut last year, and has clocked up six pro wins including the 2009 Austrian national championship.

Russian rider Shpilevsky has won 24 times during his career, including victories at Giro del Friuli, Fleche du Sud and Firenze-Pistoia.

The team’s fine general classification contenders will be complimented by Mehdi Sohrabi, who will represent the team’s hopes during the sprint finishes. He is ranked top in the 2010 UCI Asia Tour rankings with 466.66 points, thanks in part to victories in the Asian Cycling Championships (ACC) and the current Iran road race National Champion.

The 2.HC ranked race runs from January 23rd to February 1st, and will cover 1315.4 kilometres over the course of 10 stages.

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