Jan 16, 2012
RUJANO AND MONSALVE BACK IN ACTION AT LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI 2012
16 January 2012, KUALA LUMPUR - The last two winners of Le Tour de Langkawi will be back in action when the race will be on again at Putrajaya on February 24. Venezuelans José Rujano, who won LTdL in 2010 for ISD, and defending champion Yonnatta Monsalve will be united under the banner of Androni Giocattoli.
Their legendary team manager Gianni Savio will direct his boys for the twelfth time in Malaysia, a country where he enjoyed a lot of successes since his first visit back in 2000. Australia’s Jamie Drew was the first of his riders to impose himself at the end of stage 2 at Batu Ferringhi (Penang) that year.
“I’ve completely fallen in love with Malaysia and I was sad when the cycling calendar didn’t permit us to compete in Le Tour de Langkawi in 2010”, said Savio who is known for his strong ties with South America. He brought the first Colombian winner Hernan Dario Munoz in 2002 but his roster is now composed of a few Venezuelans, such as Rujano and Monsalve.
“Le Tour de Langkawi will be their first race of the year”, Savio explained. “If Rujano has the condition we expect, he’ll be our captain. The inaugural time trial shouldn’t be a problem for him. He’s got a good history with time trialling in Malaysia.” In fact, the pocket climber proved to be efficient against the clock when he finished third in the 20-km stage in Bachok won by Australian specialist Nathan O’Neill in 2005.
“The Genting stage will be our main goal once again”, Savio continued. “But the main difficulty of Le Tour de Langkawi is to control the race in the last four stages. As always, we’ll honor the race as much as we can but it won’t be an easy one to win this year. We’ll face a very strong competition.”
Rujano and Monsalve will be helped by their compatriots Carlos Ochoa and Jackson Rodriguez who are scheduled to warm up for LTdL by riding the Tour of San Luis in Argentina at the end of January. Super domestique Alessandro De Marchi will resume his duty after playing a precious role in Monsalve’s victory last year. “Monsalve had an injury after Le Tour de Langkawi last year, that’s why it was his only victory of the year, but he returned and produced a strong showing at the late season Italian races”, Savio emphasized.
Androni Giocattoli’s sixth man in Malaysia will be the young and promising sprinter Omar Bertazzo from Italy. “We’ve always liked this team and we’re happy to learn that they have just been awarded a wild card for the 2012 Giro d’Italia as well”, commented Le Tour de Langkawi chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal.
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).
THE ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI TEAM FOR THE 2012 LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI:
JOSÉ RUJANO, JONATHAN MONSALVE, CARLOS OCHOA, JACKSON RODRIGUEZ (ALL FROM VENEZUELA), OMAR BERTAZZO AND ALESSANDRO DE MARCHI (BOTH ITALIANS)