Jan 18, 2012
GENTING TO BE THE BATTLEGROUND OF THE CLIMBERS
18 January 2012, PUTRAJAYA - Genting Highlands is often associated with fun and excitement, and its cool temperature offers an ideal getaway from the tropical heat.
For cyclists, it is the much awaited stage for the riders competing in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) as it is the deciding factor in the race for the overall victory and the King of the Mountain (KOM) classification. Graded as a Hors category climb in the mountains classification and can be considered the "Queen Stage" of the annual race.
For the 17th edition of LTdL, which begins from February 24 and ends on March 4, Genting Malaysia Berhad once again continues its sponsorship with a contribution worth RM 800,000 in cash and kind, in order to ensure the success of the biggest race in Asia.
Genting Malaysia Berhad has been a corporate partner of the race since its inception in 1996. This year continuing to be the sponsor for the red jersey for the King of the Mountain classification, which is the much sought after piece of attire among climbers.
Genting Malaysia Berhad Deputy Chairman Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar today presents the sponsorship to YB Dato’ Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Youth and Sports Minister of Malaysia at the Maritime Centre, Precinct 5 at Putrajaya.
“Genting Malaysia has been a ‘traditional sponsor’ for Le Tour de Langkawi, consistently for the past 17 years. We have seen this local event grow till it has gained recognition at the international arena. This year, once again we are proud to continue our support to Le Tour de Langkawi”, said Tun Hanif in his speech.
"Genting Malaysia is proud to work together with the organisers of Le Tour de Langkawi to further promote Genting Highlands as one of the leading holiday destinations in the country," he added.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister YB Dato’ Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek thanked Genting Malaysia Berhad for continuing their support since the very beginning, he also stated that Genting Highlands has been dubbed the ‘world toughest climb’ due to it’s gradient of climb.
The climb up Genting Highlands is very popular among riders who compete in LTdL every year. Besides its steep and long climbs, those who are not well prepared will have problems arriving at the finish line which is 1,400 metres above sea level.
Last year saw young Venezuelan rider Jonathan Monsalve emerge victorious at the summit of Genting Highlands and eventually securing him the coveted overall title and the KOM jersey at the end of the race, Monsalve battled wind and rain up to the finish with 42 year old Libardo Nino Corredor (Le Tua) who could only settle for second place on that crucial day.
The 2012 edition has lined up great climbers to take on the ultimate ‘Queen Stage’ of LTdL.
Tom Danielson of Garmin-Barracuda – the overall winner of LTdL 2003 with Team Saturn then returns for a showdown. Tom took over the leader’s jersey after an unlucky crash suffered by teammate and overnight leader Nathan O'Neill at the finish of stage 7 in Bentong causing him to loose valuable time.
Danielson ranked 9th overall in Tour de France last year will be the one to watch. But he will face a tough challenge from the past two winners of the Genting stage. Jose Rujano and Jonathan Monsalve are now united inside the Androni Giocattoli team. The combination of the talent of the Venezuelans from two generations might make it hard for other riders to hold their pace.
A huge attraction of the Genting stage will be the return of the overall winner of LTdL 2007 Anthony Charteau, now with Europcar. He might have surprised a few by his climbing abilities that year but in the meantime, he has put his mark on the map of world cycling as he became the King of the Mountains in the 2010 Tour de France.
It’ll also be interesting to see what Freddy Gonzalez can deliver at the age of 37. The new Colombian recruit of Iranian team Azad University came along with the two younger brothers of Libardo Nino, Miguel and Victor. In the battle of the old warriors, Kazakh superstar Alexandre Vinokourov, 39, from Astana, and Ghader Mizbani, 37, from Tabriz, haven’t said their last word yet.
“This year’s start list features so many good and prestigious climbers that we might have the best stage up to Genting Highlands ever contested”, previewed the chief operating officer of Le Tour de Langkawi Emir Abdul Jalal.
Previous winners of the LTdL Genting Highlands stage:
1996: Damian McDonald (Aus/Giant Australia)
1997: Luca Scinto (Ita/MG-Technogym)
1998: Giuliano Figueras (Ita/Mapei)
1999: Marcus Ljunqvist (Swe/Cantina Tollo)
2000: Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex/Panaria)
2001: Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita/Mapei)
2002: Hernan Dario Munoz (Col/Colombia-Selle Italia)
2003: Hernan Dario Munoz (Col/Colombia-Selle Italia)
2004: Ruber Marin (Col/Colombia-Selle Italia)
2005: Ryan Cox (RSA/Barloworld)
2006: José Serpa (Col/Selle Italia-Diquigiovanni)
2007: José Serpa (Col/Diquigiovanni)
2009: José Serpa (Col/Diquigiovanni)
2010: José Rujano (Ven/ ISD Neri)
2011: Jonathan Monsalve (Ven/ Androni Giocattoli)
LTdL 2012 is 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 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. LTdL 2012 is expected to feature 22 professional teams.
The 10 day race begins on February 24 with Individual time trial along a 20.3 km course in Putrajaya to kick off the race; followed by stage 2 Putrajaya - Melaka (151.0km); Stage 3 Ayer Keroh - Parit Sulong (187.6km); Batu Pahat - Muar (169.4km); Ayer Keroh - Pandan Indah (190km); Proton Shah Alam - Genting Highlands (108km); Bentong - Kuantan (205.8km); Pekan - Chukai (100.8km); Kemasik - Kuala Terengganu (165.7km) dan Tasik Kenyir - Kuala Terengganu (114.8km).