Jan 28, 2016

22 TEAMS FOR THE 21ST LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI


SHAH ALAM, Friday 29 January 2016 : All continents will be represented at the 21st Le Tour de Langkawi to be held from February 24 to March 2nd on a scenic route via Penang, the Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca for an unprecedented grand finale in Malaysia’s historical city.

“We have chosen our invited teams carefully so that the whole world will be watching our country”, said the CEO of Le Tour de Langkawi Emir Abdul Jalal. “It’ll come at a time when cycling gets a great exposure worldwide because it’s the beginning of the season in the lead up to the Grand Tours. Fans are impatient to discover the new teams and which riders are on form.”

World Tour teams have once again expressed their interest for the 20 year old Malaysian event with returning Astana, Tinkoff and Dimension Data. The latter has recently been promoted to the highest ranks of international cycling. They are the defending champions of Le Tour de Langkawi, having won it last year with Algeria’s Youcef Reguigui when the squad was still called MTN-Qhubeka.

“Newly created teams have participated to the fame of Le Tour de Langkawi as they made history on our roads like Tinkoff claim their very first pro win with Pavel Brutt in 2007 in Seremban”, Emir recalled. “In that perspective, we’re delighted to give a chance to One Pro Cycling, Roth and Funvic-Soul-Carrefour who are new in the pro continental ranks. Funvic-Soul-Carrefour will be the first ever team from Brazil taking part in Le Tour de Langkawi. It’s nice of them come to Malaysia the year that the whole world will go to Brazil for the Olympic Games.”

Funvic-Soul-Carrefour represents South America, Unitedhealthcare is from North America, Drapac hails from Oceania, Skydive Dubai comes from the Middle East while there will be a flavor of both Western and Eastern Europe with Italy’s Androni, Southeast and Bardiani competing against Russia’s Astana and Tinkoff.

Asia has the largest contingent with 11 teams on the start list. “We don’t forget our roots”, Emir insisted. “Le Tour de Langkawi is Asia’s premier bicycle race. It’s the oldest UCI H.C. stage race on this continent. Cycling is booming in this part of the world. With all the requests we received, we could have filled up the start list with European teams only but we believe it’s our duty to make half of the field Asian and give the Asian cyclists the opportunity to challenge Tour de France giants Astana, Tinkoff and Dimension Data.”

All Asian countries with a strong cycling culture will make their way to Alor Setar for the teams presentation on February 23rd alongside the three Malaysian teams: Hong Kong, which is last week’s double winner of the Asian championship with Cheung King Lok in both Elite time trial and road race, China (Hengxiang and Giant-Champion System), Japan (Aisan), Korea (KSPO, a stage winning team in 2015 with Seo Joon Yong in Kuantan), Indonesia (with last year’s teams champions Pegasus) and the Philippines (7-Eleven) after a long absence.


“We have a very well balanced field that will give a chance to cyclists from very different horizons. With the Asian teams competition being contested by more teams than ever, it’ll make the race very intense from start to finish”, Emir concluded.

THE 22 TEAMS FOR THE 2016 LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI:
No.
TEAMS
WORLD TOUR (3)
1
ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST) – KAZ
2
TINKOFF (TNK) - RUS
3
DIMENSION DATA (DDD) - RSA
PROFESSIONAL CONTINENTAL (8)
4
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI - SIDERMEC (AND) – ITA
5
SOUTHEAST - VENEZUELA (STH) - ITA
6
UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL  CYCLING TEAM (UHC) – USA
7
DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING (DPC) - AUS
8
ONE PRO CYCLING (UK)
9
BARDIANI CSF (BAR) - ITA
10
TEAM ROTH (ROT) - SUI
11
FUNVIC SOUL CYCLES - CARREFOUR (FSC) - BRA
CONTINENTAL (10)
12
TERENGGANU CYCLING TEAM (TSG) – MAS
13
AISAN RACING TEAM (AIS) - JPN
14
HENGXIANG CYCLING TEAM(HEN) - CHN
15
PEGASUS CONTINENTAL CYCLING TEAM (PCT) - INA
16
KSPO (KSP) - KOR
17
NSC-MYCRON TEAM (NSC) - MAS
18
GIANT - CHAMPION SYSTEM PRO CYCLING (MSS) - CHN
19
TEAM 7-ELEVEN-SAVA RBP PHILIPPINES (T7E) - PHI
20
SKYDIVE DUBAI PRO CYCLING TEAM (SKD) - UAE
21
HKSI PRO TEAM - CHN
NATIONAL (1)
22
MALAYSIA

Jan 27, 2016

DIMENSION DATA TO DEFEND TITLE AT LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI

The team at LTdL last year

Songezo Jim
SHAH ALAM, 27th January 2016 : Now a multinational team with a strong European and Australian flavor, Dimension Data will be fully African when they’ll tackle Le Tour de Langkawi for the sixth straight time.

“It was a huge achievement for us to win this race in 2015 and we’re always delighted to come back”, said team manager Douglas Ryder who was himself one of the pioneers as he took part in the very first LTdL with the South African national team in 1996 (5th overall) and was crowned the King of the Mountains in 1998.

Reguigui won’t be part of the line-up this time around but Malaysian fans will be able to discover Songezo Jim, 25, who completed his first Grand Tour last year with the Vuelta a EspaƱa and is likely to make its debut at the Tour de France next July.

“It’ll be my first time at Le Tour de Langkawi and in Malaysia”, said Jim (Jim is his family name). “I’m excited to be racing there. I’ve raced in Asia only one time before at the Tour de Korea. I know of Le Tour de Langkawi that there are always a few sprint stages. It’s always a fast race. The Genting stage is very famous but it’s been taken off this year so it’ll make the race more open and more interesting.” 

“We’ll come to Le Tour de Langkawi after we won the race last year, so everybody will be watching us even though we don’t have the defending champion but we don’t know yet who’s gonna be the GC rider in our team. It can be me, it can be Jaco [Venter], it can be Reinhardt [Janse van Rensburg who is also a sprinter and has been entered as a reserve rider]. That will give us more chances to surprise our adversaries. We have a few guys who can climb well in the Cameron Highlands.”

Hailing from Cape Town in South Africa, Jim has already raced in America (Tour of Utah), in northern Europe (Arctic Race of Norway), in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi Tour) and recently for the first time in Australia where the Santos Tour Down Under opened the 2016 season.

“Travelling is part of being a professional cyclist”, he said. “It’s amazing to be able to see the world as we do. However, we don’t do it as tourists. We firstly aim at getting a result for the team. We have to enjoy it, otherwise it would be a too hard job.”

“Le Tour de Langkawi has a worldwide impact”, noted the event’s CEO Emir Abdul Jalal. “Considering the recent huge improvements of Africa on the global map of cycling, we have to invite Dimension Data but we can proudly say that our organization has been the first to welcome African cyclists with an absolute consistency in the past twenty years.

We love to see them back, especially Dimension Data with riders from different African countries. I’m sure they’ll perform again and possibly even better than before as their inclusion into the World Tour has made them stronger with participating to events like the Santos Tour Down Under.”

DIMENSION DATA FOR THE 2016 LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI:
Nic Dougall, Songezo Jim, Johan Van Zyl, Jaco Venter (Rsa), Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa), Mekseb Debesay (Eri). Reserve: Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (Rsa).

Organised by Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd, the 21st edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from 24 February to 2 March, 2016 is set to cover more than 1,100km over 8 stages, the UCI 2.HC (hors category) race featuring again as one of the biggest events on the UCI Asia Tour calendar.