Sep 17, 2012
THE HEAT IS ON!
PUTRAJAYA, 18 September 2012 : The 18th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi from February 21 to March 2, 2013 is set to be marked not only with a return to it's legendary birthplace, but also with a more challenging route that includes climbs up both Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands.
This will be the third year the race, which again will be sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) as a 2.HC (hors category) race on the UCI Asia Tour calendar, will be organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, via the National Sports Council (NSC) in association with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF).
Le Tour de Langkawi 2013 will feature 10 gruelling stages, set to be kicked off with a team presentation and prelude on the island of Langkawi on February 20.
Minister of Youth and Sports YB Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek announced today that the race would also be visiting new host venues such as Serdang, Sungai Siput and Kuala Kangsar, while revisiting old stops such as Dungun and Mentakab.
"This edition of the race will feature three hors category climbs, two at Cameron Highlands and one up Genting Highlands. But before the Cameron Highlands climb which comes on Stage Three, the race heads into a tricky section on Stage Two from Serdang to Kuala Kangsar, which passes through Bukit Sumpitan, which is 800m above sea level and has a difficult gradient," said Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery.
In fact, right from Stage One from Kangar to Kulim on February 21, the riders will be put through a test on Bukit Selambau, providing a tough race dotted with climbs in the earlier stages.
Terengganu will again be the venue sponsors, which sees the final four stages running through the state. The state will also have reason to celebrate with the Terengganu Cycling Team currently leading the overall standings of the UCI Asia Tour and are on the verge of becoming the first Malaysian team to be crowned team champions of the continental circuit,
The LTdL 2013, which carries the tagline "The Heat is On", is dubbed as the hottest annual race in Asia, run under immense tropical heat, which seldom is part of the challenge in races across the continent.
Thus far 22 teams, including UCI Pro Teams Astana and Garmin-Sharp have confirmed participation in the tour. Record stage winner Andrea Guardini of Italy, winner of the points classification last year, is expected to return with the Astana Pro Team of Kazakhstan after agreeing to sign for them from the Farnese Vini team last month.
"Guardini also provided a healthy impact for the race last year. His success raised the interest of the Italian media about the race and last year we received increased coverage of the race in Italy because of that," said Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery.
"Overall we have seen improvement in many areas, with studies showing that attendances at host venues for last year's race increased to a total of one million spectators compared to 800,000 the year before. The LTdL programme was also broadcast in 70 countries via sports channel Eurosport and was available to millions of viewers via the Cyclo Channel, an Internet TV site.
"The LTdL website also showed remarkable improvement in achieving more than 2.5 million hits. In terms of sponsorship, we managed to collect RM7.3 million in cash and kind from corporate sponsors last year, so we wish to thank all those who were involved and hope there is continued improvement in all areas."
Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery also highlighted the fact that the UCI had also, for a third consecutive year, acknowledged the level of organisation by according the race an "excellent level of organisation" certificate.
Also present in the launching were Ministry of Youth and Sports Secretary General Dato' Mohid Bin Mohamed, National Sports Council director general Dato' Seri Zolkples Embong, Terengganu Youth and Sports Exco YB Dato’ Salleh Mat Rashid, YB Tuan Haji Rozi Haji Mamat, Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Tuan Haji Abu Samah Abdul Wahab, YBHG Dato’ Zaidon Haji Asmuni, state officials and tour sponsors.
LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI 2013 ROUTE
Stage 1 – Thursday 21 February 2013 : Kangar – Kulim (163.7 Km)
Stage 2 – Friday 22 February 2013 : Serdang – Kuala Kangsar (116.0 Km)
Stage 3 – Saturday 23 February 2013 : Sungai Siput – Cameron Highlands (145.5 Km)
Stage 4 - Sunday 24 February 2013 : Tapah – Kapar (168.0 Km)
Stage 5 – Monday 25 February 2013 : Proton – Genting (108.0 Km)
Stage 6 – Tuesday 26 February 2013 : Mentakab – Kuantan (212.8 Km)
Stage 7 - Wednesday 27 February 2013 : Kuantan – Dungun (149.8 Km)
Stage 8 – Thursday 28 February 2013 : Kuala Terengganu – Tanah Merah (164.5 Km)
Stage 9 – Friday 1 March 2013 : Pasir Puteh – Kuala Berang (123.6 Km)
Stage 10 – Saturday 2 March 2013 : Tasik Kenyir – Kuala Terengganu (114.8 Km)
TOTAL DISTANCE : 1466.6km