Tour de Langkawi to expand, more ProTeams promised next season
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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tour de Langkawi to expand, more ProTeams promised next season

by Shane Stokes at 11:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi
 
Outline of race route released for 2012 event

Jonathan MonsalveScheduled to take place one month later than this year and thus avoiding a clash with the Santos Tour Down Under, the organisers of the Tour de Langkawi have pledged that more UCI ProTeams will compete in the 2012 race.

The route of next year’s event was announced today and in addition to changes with the format of the Malaysian contest, big differences are planned with regards the level of competition.

“If previous editions only featured two or three Pro Teams, LTdL 2012 will be reinstating itself as the foremost cycling event in Asia by featuring more teams of that status,” said the organisers in a statement. They added that near year’s contest would “be one that showcases the race's readiness to become part of the UCI World Tour series,” thus suggesting that it eventually wants to expand beyond its current 2.HC status.

What is termed a ‘memorandum of understanding' has been signed between representatives of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation and ProTeams Garmin-Cervelo and Astana. Both teams have committed to riding next year’s race, and it is expected that more will be added over the next few months.

This year’s contest was run off between January 23rd and February 1st. The Santos Tour Down Under overlapped it, taking place between January 18th – 23rd; no UCI ProTeams took part in the Malaysian event as a result.

The clash was caused by the February 3rd start of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The most famous finish of the Tour de Langkawi takes place at the Genting Highlands resort; as it becomes extremely busy during the celebrations, it essentially forced the race to take place earlier.

However with Chinese New Year due to start on January 23rd next year, the Tour de Langkawi will go later and take place between February 24th and March 4th, completely avoiding the rival Australian event.

Route details announced, new finish to race:

The race will get underway with a 20.3 kilometre prologue time trial in Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur. Stages to Melake, Paris Sulong, Muar and Pandan Indah follow, before the riders tackle the crucial race to Genting Highlands on Stage 6. This takes place on the leap year date of February 29th.

After the following day’s race to Kuantan, the race will head to the province of Terengganu for the final three days. The decision is a move away from the traditional finish in Kuala Lumpur, and is intended to boost the Continenal team based there, which has the goal of developing young riders.

Top Malaysian talent Anuar Manan raced with the Terengganu Pro Asia cycling team this year. The state’s backing of cycling has also helped develop Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa, Anuar Manan, Mohd Harrif Salleh, Ahmad Haidar Anuawar, Mohd Adiq Husainie Othman and Shahrul Mat Amin.

“It is hoped that the selection of the three finish locations and two start venues in Terengganu will further inspire young talents in the state to make steps towards becoming top cyclists in the future,” said the organisers.

A total of 22 teams will be part of the 2012 race, including ProTeams Garmin-Cervélo and Astana, plus the Malaysian national team, TSG and the LeTua Cycling Team. More teams will be announced in the build-up to the event.

One rider who the organisers hope will return is Jonathan Monsalve (pictured). The Androni Giocattoli rider won this year’s race, beating Libardo Niño (LeTua Cycling Team) and Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) into second and third.

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Tour de Langkawi 2012:

Stage 1, 24 February: Putrajaya Individual Time Trial (20.2 km)
Stage 2, 25 February: Putrajaya - Melaka (151 km)
Stage 3, 26 February: Melaka - Parit Sulong (177.6 km)
Stage 4, 27 February: Batu Pahat - Muar (169.4 km)
Stage 5, 28 February: Ayer Keroh - Pandan Indah, Ampang (188.4 km)
Stage 6, 29 February: Proton, Shah Alam - Genting Highlands (108 km)
Stage 7, 1 March: Bentong - Kuantan (215.8 km)
Stage 8, 2 March: Pekan - Cukai (100.8 km)
Stage 9, 3 March: Kemasik - Kuala Terengganu (169.4 km)
Stage 10, 4 March: Kuala Terengganu - Kuala Terengganu Loop (114.1 km)

Total distance: 1414.8 km

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