Jun 9, 2011
9 June 2011, PUTRAJAYA - With a new tagline 'Ready For the World', the 17th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) in 2012 will be one that showcases the race's readiness to become part of the UCI World Tour series.
With a proven track record, including another accolade of being recognised by the International Cycling Union (UCI) who accorded the 2011 edition with an ‘Excellent Level of Organization’ through its recent official letter, the race is ready to move further forward.
LTdL 2012 is scheduled to be held from February 24 to March 4 will be preparing for a new chapter by welcoming more top tier UCI Pro Teams.
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.
The launching ceremony of LTdL's new image and the route announcement were officiated by Youth and Sports Minister YB Dato' Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, while Ministry of Youth and Sports Secretary General Dato' Mohid Bin Mohamed, National Sports Council director general Dato' Zolkples Embong and Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Tuan Haji Abu Samah Abdul Wahab LTdL 2012 will be organised by the National Sports Council as a mark of continuity to the organisation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2010 and 2011 with in collaboration with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation.
The race maintains a 2.HC (Hors Classe) status and is recognised and sanctioned by the UCI and UCI Asia Tour.
The tagline 'Ready For the World' will inject inspiration into the national cyclists who will be competing in the race. More elaborate preparation will be done in order for the Malaysian road cyclists to challenge the reputations of track cyclists who are classified as 'World-beaters' like Azizulhasni Awang, Josiah Ng and Rizal Tisin.
At the same ceremony, a memorandum of understanding between MNCF and representatives of two UCI ProTour Teams, Team Garmin-Cervelo and Pro Team Astana were also signed. Team Garmin-Cervelo will be represented by Director Sportif Chann McRae, while Pro Team Astana will be represented by Commercial Director Dr. Aidar Makhmetov. This memorandum will ensure the preparedness of both teams to provide a world class challenge in LTdL 2012.
The LTdL 2012 challenge begins on February 24 with Individual time trial along a 20.3 km course in Putrajaya to kick off the race that runs for a total distance of 1,414.8km.
The Genting Highlands climb is featured on the sixth stage and remains the race's signature stage with a Hors category climb up to the summit at 1,679m above sea level. Right after that, a 215km stage from Bentong to Kuantan offer an even stiffer challenge on Stage Seven.
Moving away from tradition, where the LTdL final stage usually features a criterium in Kuala Lumpur, LTdL 2012 will end with the final three stages being hosted by Terengganu.
Terengganu's selection as the finish host of LTdL 2012 was based on the state Government's pro-activeness in the development of cycling, as the state has produced many of the current batch of riders representing the country.
Through the state's development programmes they have produced riders like Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa, Anuar Manan, Mohd Harrif Salleh, Ahmad Haidar Anuawar, Mohd Adiq Husainie Othman and Shahrul Mat Amin. The state government have also become the sponsors of the continental team Terengganu Pro Asia (TSG), which all shows that the State is commited towards producing, developing and exposing cycling talent on to the world stage.
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.
LTdL 2012 is expected to feature 22 professional teams including three local teams which are the national team, TSG and LeTua Cycling Team.