“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:
|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|
|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|