Today the starting list of the Tour of Langkawi was announced by the organizers and going by the names on it, the Tour is shaping up to be quite an exciting edition. The defending champion, Yonnatta Monslave from the Androni Giocattoli team is back. However, the competition looks to be very stiff with the likes of two Pro-Tour teams taking to the start line – Garmin Barracuda led by Tom Danielson and the Astana Pro Team with Alexandre Vinokurov who is in search of glory since crashing out at last year’s Tour de France. Tom Danielson looks to be motivated to do well this year after winning the race nine years ago as part of the Saturn Squad. Check the article on Velonation. As for other contenders, I will do a commentary in one of my next posts.
There are seven Pro-Continential teams represented: Androni Giocattoli (AND), Champion System (CSS), Colnago CSF Inox (COG), Farnese Vini (FAR), Rusvelo (RVL), Team Europcar (EUC), and United Healthcare/Neil Pryde (UHC). Nine Continential teams: Aisan Racing Team (AIS), Azad University Cross Team (AZC), Drapac Cycling (DPC), MAX Success Sports (MSS), OCBC Singapore (TSI), RTS Racing Team (RTS), Seoul Cycling (SCT), Tabriz Petrochemical Team (TPT), Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG). Three National Teams: Malaysia National Team (MAS), Indonesia National Team (INA) and the New Zealand National Team (NZL).
The city of Putrajaya is the new symbol of Le Tour de Langkawi and this is going to be the location of stage one, a 20.3km individual time trial that will surely set the GC order before the real racing even begins. The 17th edition of the Tour is going to be held from February 24 till March 4: 10 action packed days in the tropical heat of Malaysia! Stage two begins in Putrajaya and ends 151kms later in the historical Dutch village of Melaka. Stage three Ayer Keroh – Parit Sulong (187.6km); Batu Pahat – Muar (169.4km); Ayer Keroh – Pandan Indah (190km); Proton Shah Alam – Genting Highlands (108km); Bentong – Kuantan (205.8km); Pekan – Chukai (100.8km); Kemasik – Kuala Terengganu (165.7km) dan Tasik Kenyir – Kuala Terengganu (114.8km).
Traditionally the Tour de Langkawi had ended with the street criterium in downtown Kuala Lumpur but the final three stages of the 2012 edition will be hosted by the state of Terengganu. The final stage will culminate in the scenic East Coast city of Kuala Terengganu.
LTdL 2012 is organised by the National Sports Council as a mark of continuity to the organisation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2010 and 2011 in collaboration with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation. The race maintains a 2.HC (Hors Classe) status and is recognised and sanctioned by the UCI and UCI Asia Tour.
The rider list is below. As I will be attending the Tour of Langkawi, stay tuned to this site for the updates. I will announce other sites that I will be covering for soon and my twitter Bikedan will be used to provide live-updates of the Tour where possible.