Five Pro Teams among a total of twenty-two will participate to the 18th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi, set to take place from February 21 to March 2nd, 2013.
“Our event didn’t reach that number of teams representing the World Tour since 2007”, noted the chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal. “Added to the quality of Pro Continental teams like Europcar coming with Pierre Rolland, we clearly have the best start list of the past decade. Now it’s up to the cyclists to deliver the show and to the riders of lower leveled teams to challenge the stars of the Pro Teams.”
New comers to LTdL will be the former Rabobank team renamed Blanco, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Orica-Greenedge while Garmin-Sharp and Astana will return for the second year in a row. “Their second enrolment back to back is meaningful to us”, said Emir Abdul Jalal. “It clearly shows that they’ve appreciated the quality of our organization. They have reiterated their long-term commitment to LTdL.”
Astana’s links with the race goes as far back as in 1997 when Alexandre Vinokourov took part as a member of the Kazakh national team and got noticed in Malaysia by European scouts. He came back on the final year of his career and prepared on Malaysian soil his campaign to the road race Olympic title that crowned his career in London in July last year.
Le Tour de Langkawi was the first appearance at the HC level of Slipstream Sport when they joined the Pro Continental ranks in 2007. They have only missed one edition since. Now called Garmin-Sharp, the American-registered outfit is one of the most prestigious in the world. In 2012, they have won their first Grand Tour with Ryder Hesjedal – a former mountain biker who initiated his road career with the 2002 Le Tour de Langkawi – at the Giro d’Italia.
The positive comments made by the representatives of Astana and Gamin-Sharp about the 2012 Le Tour de Langkawi have impacted the whole world of professional cycling. “While in the past it was up to us to contact the teams, some of them have questioned us about their possible participation to our race this year”, revealed Emir Abdul Jalal. “We’re sorry for the bidding teams of different categories and origins we couldn’t accommodate this time around but we’re delighted with the field we’ll be able to present to Malaysian fans.”
The LTdL 2013, which carries the slogan “The Heat is On”, will officially begin in Kangar on February 21 and the race comprises 10 stages, covering 1469.7 kilometres.
The race is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) as a 2.HC (hors category) race on the UCI Asia Tour calendar, organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, via the National Sports Council (NSC) in association with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF).
The 18th edition of the race is marked not only by its return to its legendary birthplace, but also a challenging route which features two tough climbs up Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands.
- Garmin Sharp (GRS) – USA
- Astana Pro Team (AST) – KAZ
- Orica GreenEdge (OGE) – AUS
- Blanco Pro Cycling Team (BLA) – NED
- Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team (OPQ) – BEL
- Vini Fantini (VIN) – GBR
- Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team (UHC) – USA
- Champion System Pro Cycling Team (CSS) – CHN
- Team Europcar (EUC) – FRA
- Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela (AND) – ITA
- MTN – Qhubeka (MTN) – RSA
- Tabriz Petrochemical Team (TPT) – IRI
- RTS Racing Team (RTS) – TPE
- Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) – MAS
- OCBC Singapore Continental Cycling Team (TSI) – SIN
- Team Nippo (PPO) – JPN
- Aisan Racing Team (AIS) – JPN
- KSPO (KSP) – KOR
- Hengxiang Cycling Team (HEN) – CHN
- Synergy – Baku Cycling Project
- Malaysia National Cycling Federation
- Indonesia National Team