SHAH ALAM : The 21st Le Tour de Langkawi will take place from February 24 to March 2nd, 2016, as updated on the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) calendar yesterday. The 2.HC race was originally scheduled from March 6 to 13.
“We requested a change of dates due to a clash with World Tour events Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico that was going to hamper the worldwide impact of LTdL”, said the CEO of organizing company Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd Emir Abdul Jalal.
“This has been made possible by the comprehension of the UCI road commission and our good relationships with the Malaysian National Cycling federation’s president Datuk Haji Abu Samah Abdul Wahab and Asian Cycling Confederation’s secretary general Choi Boo Woong.”
Now set on an 8-day format, the event will be run from a Wednesday to a Wednesday. “One weekend only means more opportunities for us to attract big teams since they’re also busy in Europe and the Middle East with other events usually held on weekends”, Emir added.
“We’ll stick to our selection policy to put together a field of 22 teams comprising 11 World Tour or Pro Continental teams and 11 Asian continental or national teams. We’re in the process of entering them with interesting prospects.”
The race organization is also currently on the road in Malaysia to finalize the route in order to make the race interesting. For the second year in a row, the grueling climb of Genting Highlands won’t feature on the course due to constructions and road works.
“We don’t want the race to suit pure sprinters and top climbers only”, Emir said. “We’d like it to be open to different kinds of riders but the course will remain challenging.”
The launch of the 21st Le Tour de Langkawi is expected to take place in the early January.