Dec 18, 2012

GUARDINI RETURNS TO LTDL WITH “DREAM TEAM” ASTANA




KUALA LUMPUR, WEDNESDAY 19 DECEMBER 2012 - For the third consecutive year, Andrea Guardini will be one of the stars of Le Tour de Langkawi. After initiating his pro career with a flamboyant victory on the Paradisiacal island of Langkawi in 2011, the Italian pocket-rocket broke two records in the past edition of the race as he became the first rider to bag six stage victories in the same LTdL and the most successful cyclist ever in the history of the Malaysian event with a total of eleven wins. He has since transferred from Pro Continental team Farnese Vini to Pro Team Astana.

“Le Tour de Langkawi is the race of my heart”, Guardini explained. “I like the warmth of the country and its people. The whole environment of this race motivates me tremendously. When I discussed my new contract with Astana, it wasn’t difficult to agree on the fact that I’d take part in Le Tour de Langkawi again. The team management has told me straight away that this is a very important race for Astana, as we are the only Pro Team from Asia.”

Astana is now managed by Alexandre Vinokourov who started his 2012 campaign in Malaysia and put an end to his career with a remarkable Olympic title in London. “It’s been fantastic to have Vinokourov back here”, commented the chief operating officer of Le Tour de Langkawi Emir Abdul Jalal. “To see him winning the Olympic road race has been one of the highlights of the 2012 season for Malaysian cycling fans after he participated to our event and gave a great show as well. His aggressive spirit has inspired a lot of kids who now take up cycling.”

Another highlight of 2012 has been Guardini’s victory over Mark Cavendish in stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia. “This also added value to our event”, realized Emir Abdul Jalal. “I know how much work I yet have to do to perform in the Grand Tours but I’m tempted to have a go at the 2013 Tour de France since stage 1 suits the sprinters”, Guardini explained.

The 23 year old is aware that he’ll face a stronger opposition in the sprints of the next LTdL with more Pro Teams attending the race and Europcar bringing their new star Bryan Coquard who is another sprinter in the making after collecting the silver medal for omnium at the London Olympics. “Track background is an enormous bonus for sprinting”, said Guardini who is a former European champion for keirin.

By a temperature of -37 degrees in the capital of Kazakhstan, Guardini recently took part in the launch of the so-called “Dream Team” Astana that has also attracted super stars Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang. He got to know a young sprinter who will line up on his side at Le Tour de Langkawi: Alexey Lutsenko is the current world champion in the U23 category. Another young attraction of LTdL will be 21 year old Italian climber Fabio Aru. A winner of the Tour of Valle d’Aosta, he should find himself at ease in the Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands alongside Alexandr Dyachenko who finished 4th overall at the 2012 Le Tour de Langkawi prior to winning the Tour of Turkey.

“It’s no surprise for us that Vinokourov has selected an excellent team for Le Tour de Langkawi, it’s an honour for us to welcome them again and they look like able to win a lot on all terrains”, concluded Emir Abdul Jalal.

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 1427.6 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.

PRO TEAM ASTANA FOR LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI :

Andrea GUARDINI (ITA), Alexandr DYACHENKO (KAZ), Fabio ARU (ITA), Arman KAMYSHEV (KAZ), Alexey LUTSENKO (KAZ), Ruslan TLEUBAYEV (KAZ).

Dec 10, 2012

ORICA-GREENEDGE HIGHLIGHTS PRO TEAMS’ POSITIVE FEELINGS TOWARDS LTDL





PUTRAJAYA, MONDAY 10 DECEMBER 2012 - The third ProTeam after Astana and Garmin-Sharp to sign up for the 2013 Le Tour de Langkawi, to be held from February 21 to March 2nd, is Orica-GreenEdge from Australia. The first team ever from Down Under to have made the cut in the highest rank of world cycling has chosen Malaysia as their new destination in the early part of the coming season.

“But our common history is a pretty long one”, said Orica-GreenEdge team manager Shayne Bannan who previously directed the high performance program of Australian cycling via the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). In fact, the first team ever to win LTdL was Giant-AIS back in 1996 when the race was created. Bannan himself was the directeur sportif of the Australian national team at the 1998 LTdL. “That’s where our connection with the Mapei team and their training center in Italy started”, Bannan said. A financial director of Mapei at the time, Italy’s Alvaro Crespi now holds the same position with Orica-GreenEdge. He’s no stranger to Malaysia and paid a visit to Kuala Lumpur to introduce the team for the 2013 Le Tour de Langkawi.

Minister of Youth and Sports YB Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek expressed in his speech today that the race have seen positive response from ProTour teams this year and the popularity of LTdL is gradually picking up.

“Indeed, we are proud to have with us the 3rd Protour team for our next race, after Garmin and Astana. I was made to understand that the responses for this year’s participation is much greater than the previous years.” said Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery.

“The organiser of LTdL and Malaysians hope that Orica GreenEdge would have their first experience in LTdL as their best experience in competing in any cycling tours in the world, and return for many years to come.” he added.

Orica-GreenEdge will make their way to Malaysia with one of their star rider Cameron Meyer who is a multiple world champion on the track and won the overall classification of the 2011 Tour Down Under. He’s touted as the next big thing for Australia as a Grand Tour contender. Therefore, considering his climbing abilities and his usual good form in the first part of the year, he’s a clear favourite for the 2013 LTdL in the possible absence of top climbers from South America who usually run the show.

Meyer will be accompanied by his younger brother Travis who is also an excellent track rider and a reliable domestique. New Zealander Sam Bewley who claimed a bronze medal at the London Olympics for team pursuit is also on the line-up. Another star rider in the making is Luke Durbridge. With eight victories, including the prologue of the World Tour event Criterium du Dauphine, he was the most successful neo-pro in the world in 2012 at the age of 21. Even though the 2013 LTdL doesn’t feature any time trial, which is Turbo-Durbo’s speciality, his powerful silhouette will for sure be noticed somehow on Malaysian roads.

It might be at the service of Pieter Weening. The lanky climber remains the last Dutchman to have won a stage at the Tour de France, back in 2005, but he also wore the pink jersey leader of the Giro d’Italia for four days in 2011.

As the staff of Orica-GreenEdge knows the LTdL well enough, they wouldn’t have come without a sprinter and that will be Aidis Kruopis from Lithuania who won four races for the Australian team in 2012, including a stage of the World Tour event Tour of Poland.

“To welcome Orica-GreenEdge is the pinnacle of our long lasting relationship with Australia”, enjoyed the chief operating officer of Le Tour de Langkawi Emir Abdul Jalal. “As the first Pro Team from Oceania, they perfectly fit into our event. We understand that they won’t only come to participate but they are putting together a strong team for winning the overall classification and a few stages.”

Also present in the press conference were Ministry of Youth and Sports Secretary General Dato' Mohid Bin Mohamed, National Sports Council Director General Dato' Seri Zolkples Embong, Deputy Chairman of LTdL 2013 Organising Committee Ybhg Dato’ Ab Jalil Abdullah, Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Datuk Haji Abu Samah Abdul Wahab and race officials.
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 1466.6 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.

THE ORICA GREENEDGE TEAM FOR THE 2013 LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI:

Pieter WEENING (NED), Luke DURBRIDGE (AUS), Cameron MEYER (AUS), Sam BEWLEY (NZL), Aidis KRUOPIS (LTU) and Travis MEYER (AUS)

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Dec 9, 2012

FAN FAN WINS IN JEMPOL WHILE GREEN TAKES THE 2012 CROWN


JEMPOL, SUNDAY, 9 December 2012 - THIS was what Fan Fan had planned when he started the second leg this morning. With a healthy lead he took a fast and easy approach to the remainder of the 68 KM stages which made up Leg 2. There was however a fight for the remainder spots in the top ten.

Missing from the start list for leg 2 is Kenneth Koh, he was unable to fix his broken gear box as he came to the rally minus the Proton R3 crew, whom are in full force at the Sepang circuit where the team ran 2 cars. The fight in the top 10 was between Francis, Dinie, Ahmad Shafie, Siraj, Azmeer, Mike, Abdul Gaffar and Mohd Rafizal. The lot were separated by just 9 minutes! So it was game on in the heat and dust of Jempol.

It was Siraj whom fell victim to mechanical gremlins first in SS8. Then on SS10 Dinie Nazmies hard fought rally came to a halt only after 100 meters into the stage with a broken gearbox. Another victim of the gearbox onslaught was Mohd Rafizal on the very last stage. He was posting competitive stage time on his return to the championship after a long break. With the three retirements, Ahmad Shafie with his ailing Subaru Impreza was elevated to 4th. Francis Keng had a late scare when he overcooked a right hand corner and bent his rear wheel on the second last SS. It was sign for Francis to slow down.

Indonesian Robi Agusman and compatriot Muhammad Zulfikar Pane restarted the rally under the super rally rules and was happy sampling the Malaysian stages in preparation for the 2013 season. Further down the field, Jamaluddin Tukmin and younger system Rozita managed to creep into the top 10 after a frustrating rally which he was unable to fight for a class win after when he came with the wrong tyres. It was a successful outing for the Tetipad Malacca Rally team when all of its 5 cars made it to the finish with their female driver finishing just outside the top 10.

The prize giving ceremony was graced by Y.B.Dato’ Shamsulkahar b. Abdul Deli the ADUN Serting with Brian Green and Fleur Pederson officially being crown the 2012 Malaysian Rally Champion.

Round 4 winner was Fan Fan and Francies Keng, while Mike Ariokiasamy from MRU motorsports was second and third respectively. 4th place went to Ahmad Shafie of Tetipad Malacca Rally team and Azmeer Yusri finish fifth. Well done to the 18 crews whom finished the rally and crossed the finish ramp.

The Final round of the 2012 Malaysian Rally Championship was organized with faultless precision and ran like clockwork. Thanks to the organizers and its dedicated crew and without the supporting competitors, the Rallying scene will be folded into the history books; let’s hope that will ever happen. Come April 2013, the 4 round championship promises to be another challenging season. Hope there will be an increase in the number of competitors, stiff competition among the competitors and more support from the government and sponsors will be the main attraction of the championship.

Dec 7, 2012

Tyrell Bicycles Arrive in Van’s Urban Bicycle Co





PETALING JAYA, 8 DEC 2012 - Japan’s Number 1 small wheel bike is now available in Malaysia. Tyrell bicycles was established in 2004 in Japan with the purpose of providing a truly unique riding machine to discerning cyclists. The product launch was officiated by M.Hirose, creator and owner of Tyrell bicycles at Van's Urban Bicycle Co. Hirose explained about the unique range of Tyrell bikes that specifically designed to cater unique individuals.

Design Concept

Tyrell’s design offers a fresh concept. Its design stresses on the highest standard and quality control. The material used for the frames are titanium alloy (Ti-3Al 2.5V) PKZ and PK1 and Si - Scandium alloy which makes it of extremely high grade and light. This combination is perfect in producing a very light yet rigid frame. Both materials are highly corrosion resistant. The frame is joined in 17 places and welded carefully by hand. Heat treatment is added to improve the strength of the frame.

Slant Design

Tyrell’s unique slant frame design with many triangulations provides for solid rigidity via its long front head tube. The design also allows for a low center of gravity creating more stability and road holding for the rider. Flex is almost negligible for these bikes and they are often installed with top end groupsets like SRAM Red and Shimano Dura Ace.

Carbon Yoke (Rear)
The carbon yoke is patent technology to the rear suspension of the Tyrell SZ. With a link structure, the honeycomb carbon yoke wraps the leaf spring with the carbon resin. This yoke absorbs all punishing road surfaces. SZ is undergoing a re-design and availability will be for the new season. 

Tyrell bicycles distinguish themselves from others as they are:
  •      ultra light weight (weighing between 6.9kg and 9kg)
  •       made from unique titanium and aluminium alloys – (such as scandium)
  •      premium 20-inch mini bicycles
  •      carbon monocoque fork
Tyrell bicycles are exclusively distributed in South East Asia by Onesport Pte Ltd, a company specialising in retailing premium bicycles and components. Van’s Urban Bicycle Co is the main dealer for Malaysia. Complete Tyrell bicycle starts from RM$7,200 and full accessories range price from RM$50 onwards.

Dec 3, 2012

PIERRE ROLLAND RETURNS TO LTDL WITH WINNING AMBITIONS

KUALA LUMPUR, MONDAY (3rd DECEMBER 2012) - Tour de France mountain stage winner and top-10 overall finisher Pierre Rolland will be back in action at Le Tour de Langkawi with Europcar from February 21 to March 2nd. The Frenchman announced his 2013 early season program highlighting the Malaysian event over the races of his country.

“I fell in love with Le Tour de Langkawi when I first took part in it back in 2011”, Rolland said. At the time, he was trying to come out of two quiet seasons with Bouygues Telecom following the immense promises he gave with Credit Agricole as a neo pro in 2008. A King of the Mountain at the Criterium du Dauphine and a member of the French team for the Beijing Olympics, he looked like a climber in the making.

The 2011 LTdL was the re-start of his career. He went on the attack almost every day, even on flat stages when he knew his chances of success were very limited. He rode up to Genting Highland in a solo breakaway until he got caught with 5km to go and finished 12th. “Had I known the climb, I would have acted differently”, he said. “I want to go back to Malaysia and win atop of this legendary climb.”

As he got injured in February last year, he was forced to skip Paris-Nice, a race he thought was a necessity in his lead up to the Spring classics and the Tour de France. As he won the Alpine stage to La Toussuire and finished 8th overall at the 2012 Tour de France, he has changed his mind over Paris-Nice and opted for LTdL instead.

“To have Pierre Rolland back to LTdL is a great honor, his victory as the Best young rider of Tour de France in 2011 was a great achievement, and I’d love to see him as winner in Malaysia as well”, the chief operating officer of Le Tour de Langkawi Emir Abdul Jalal commented. “It’s fantastic to hear that a stage winner at L’Alpe d’Huez also considers Genting Highland as a legendary climb and a prestigious win to be posted on the record book of a champion.”

The line up of Europcar for the 2013 Le Tour de Langkawi shows their strong ambitions. The other big attraction will be Olympic Games silver medallist for omnium Bryan Coquard who is set to become a top sprinter in the coming years. The 2011 Asian champion Yukiya Arashiro from Japan will also return to his favourite Asian race alongside French riders Cyril Gautier, Perrig Quemeneur and Kevin Reza.

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 1466.6 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.

THE EUROPCAR TEAM FOR THE 2013 LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI:

Yukiya ARASHIRO (JPN), Bryan COQUARD (FRA),  Cyril GAUTIER (FRA), Perrig QUEMENEUR (FRA), K√©vin REZA (FRA) and Pierre ROLLAND (FRA)