KUALA LUMPUR - The Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) organisers have confirmed five teams to return to Le Tour de Langkawi (January 23 to February 1st) after their positive showing in the 2010 edition of the Malaysian stage race. They are Tabriz Petrochemical from Iran, Aisan Racing Team from Japan, Polygon Cycling Team from Indonesia, Drapac-Porsche from Australia and Giant Asia Racing Team from Taiwan, all continental teams from the Asia-Pacific region.
“Le Tour de Langkawi being one of the only four UCI H.C. races on the Asia Tour, it’s part of our duty to give exposure to some of the teams from our continent”, said the CEO of Le Tour de Langkawi, Mohamed Salleh. “Some teams are faithful to our event and we’re happy to reward them with inviting them once again.”
Tabriz Petrochemical are the defending champions in the teams’ competition of LTdL since they outclassed ISD-Neri and Footon-Servetto earlier this year. They also had three riders in the individual top ten overall of the race won by Venezuela’s José Rujano with Hossein Askari finishing third, Ghader Mizbani ninth and Ahad Kazemi tenth.
Aisan’s first appearance as a Japanese team at LTdL after years of the participation of the national team and Meitan-Hompo with their stars Yukiya Arashiro and the Fukushima brothers, was a successful one with the unexpected stage win for the then national champion Taiji Nishitani who outsprinted eventual U23 world champion Michael Matthews from Jayco-Skin at Parit Sulong on stage 4.
Drapac-Porsche was even more successful as they bagged the final stage from Kuala Kubu Baru to Kuala Lumpur with Stuart Shaw outsprinting Footon-Servetto’s Vidal Celis at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square). Peter McDonald finished fourth overall and was crowned King of the Mountain of the 2010 LTdL. There are tight ties between Australia’s Drapac-Porsche team and Malaysia. The Melbourne-based squad is associated to the development of up-and-coming Adiq Husainie Othman. For the 2011 season, Malaysia’s road race national champion will be joined at Drapac by compatriot Amir Mustafa Rusli who finished third overall at the Jelajah Malaysia.
The winner of the 2010 Jelajah Malaysia David McCann will be back in action at LTdL with the famous Taiwanese team Giant Asia Racing team. The Irish champion for time trial had a prolific season with winning the Melaka Governor Cup, the Tour of Taiwan and the Tour of the Philippines in 2010. “There’s one race I’d like to win in Asia before I quit racing, it’s Le Tour de Langkawi”, said McCann who believes he’ll have a stronger line up on his side in 2011.
More teams are expected to sign up for LTdL in the coming days as the organisers have planned 23 teams to enter the event, three of them being from Malaysia, ten from Asia-Pacific and ten from Europe and the US. “Our technical department is working hard on getting good teams to attend our race”, Mohamed said. “We’re confident that the sixteenth edition of Le Tour de Langkawi will be a very good one on an international scale.”
After three years of omission, Le Tour de Langkawi will kick off on the paradisiacal island of Langkawi again on January 23rd.
Le Tour de Langkawi 2011 is organized by the Ministry Youth and Sports Malaysia together with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation. The 2011 Tour to be held from 23rd January to 1st February covers a total distance of 1315.4 kms with 10 stages, starting in Langkawi Island and ending at Dataran Merdeka.
Taiji Nishitani from Aisan Racing Team wins a stage in LTdL 2010
Defending team champion Tabriz Petrochemical will be back!