SPORTS › NEWS
LTdL 2014 To Flag Off In Langkawi Thursday
LANGKAWI, Feb 26 (Bernama) -- Twenty one teams, including five pro teams, are set to light up the 2014 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) which flags off at the legendary island of Langkawi, tomorrow.
The 21 teams comprise five Pro Tour teams, five Pro Continental teams, seven Continental teams and three National teams.
The race for the coveted yellow jersey is expected to be led by Orica-GreenEDGE's Dutch star Pieter Weening, last year's runner-up who lost out on the overall victory to Colombian Julian David Arredondo, by a minute and 15 seconds and will surely be back with a vengeance to go a step higher this time around.
The appearance of two of the biggest teams in the world, Katusha from Russia and Tinkoff-Saxo from Denmark and Team Colombia will certainly add spice to the already hot reception awaiting cycling fans throughout the world.
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 19th edition of the race is marked not only by its start from its legendary birthplace, but also a challenging route which features a climb up Genting Highlands.
One of the region's top cycling events, the annual race will flag off in Langkawi, cover an extensive 1,507.9km across Peninsular Malaysia, and finish at Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu, on the east coast.
The highlight of the tour is expected to be the 3rd stage which features the Genting Highlands climb and pitch two renown climbers Fabio Duarte (Team Colombia) and Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEDGE).
Malaysia, spearheaded by Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) and the National team, will field 12 riders instead of 16 last year, but featuring a combination of senior and young riders.
The National team will introduce Amirul Anuar Jefri, Abdul Rashid Ibrahim, Mohd Fauzan Ahmad Lufti, Mohd Rizuan Zainal and Mohammad Rauf Nur Misbah.
The Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) that will feature Anuar Manan, Harrif Saleh, Zamri Saleh, Adiq Husainie Othman, Shahrul Mat Amin and Saufi Mat Senan are expected to challenge for stage wins and the green jersey.
Italy's sprinter ace Andrea Guardini of Astana, winner of 12 stages, aims to become the first rider to win the points classification at the LTdL three times, a performance he was close to achieving already in his third participation last year but illness weakened him in the last two days in Terengganu and compatriot Francesco Chicchi took the blue jersey off him at the eleventh hour as he claimed the final bunch sprint victory.
Only two other riders have won the points classification on two occasions: Canada's Gordon Fraser (in 2000 and 2004) and Australian LTdL legend Graeme Brown (in 2003 and 2005).
"This is a very difficult competition", the Le Tour de Langkawi chief operating officer Emir Abdul Jalal explained. "While climbers can target their stages and take it easy in the peloton some days, the points classification requires consistency. Every day, there are points up for grabs, three times a day at intermediate sprints and once on the finishing line.
The LTdL flags off at Langkawi and riders will cover a distance of 101.1km around the island.
news coverage in our Newswire service.
Previous Top Stories
Other News Headlines
FGV Plans To Expand Into Rubber Business In Cambodia Soon- business
Victory A Tonic For T-Team In Coming Matches - Azraai- sports
Handicraft Maker Immortalises Sarawak's Perahu Tambang- features
China - Lawmakers, Political Advisers cross Fingers For Missing China-bound Plane- world
Most Read News
Pertubuhan Berita Nasional Malaysia,
Wisma BERNAMA,No 28, Jalan 1/65A,
Off Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel : 603-2693 9933 ( General Line )
E-mel : firstname.lastname@example.org
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form except with the prior written permission of BERNAMA.
Best viewed in Firefox 8.0 & Internet Explorer 8.0 with 1024 x 768 resolution