SHAH ALAM : The most successful team in the history of Le Tour de Langkawi will be back in action on Malaysian roads from February 24 to March 2nd. It’s Bardiani-CSF who claimed no less than 34 stage victories in the past under different sponsors’ names (Scrigno, Navigare and Panaria). The second most successful squad is Androni with 24.
Although nine of their successes were taken by Australian sprinter Graeme Brown, the organization run for thirty-five years by Bruno and Roberto Reverberi who are father and son has a lot to do with Italy leading the tally of stage wins with 69 while Australia follows with only 26.
“Since our first trip to Malaysia in 1998, Le Tour de Langkawi has always had a special place in our heart”, said Roberto who directed Mirko Rossato to the team’s first victory in the country two days before Alessandro Petacchi’s historical first career win in Mersing. Their last success up to date occurred in 2012 when Marco Canola rode away from the breakaway to snatch a brilliant solo win in Kuantan.
“Last year we were delighted with the way Luca Chirico rode to finish seventh overall”, Roberto added. “We had more ambitions with our new sprinter Paolo Simion but he was seriously injured in a crash and couldn’t complete stage 3 inside the time cut.”
Chirico and Simion enjoyed Malaysia so much that they’ll both be back next month with another sprinter to watch for in the person of Nicola Ruffoni who will be the oldest Bardiani-CSF rider at the age of only 25. “In recent years, our recruitment policy has been to hire only Italians and only young riders”, said Bruno Reverberi.
“We like this kind of team with a true identity and an impeccable reputation, so we’re delighted that they accepted our invitation once again”, commented the CEO of Le Tour de Langkawi Emir Abdul Jalal. “I’m convinced we’ll see their green and white colours a lot from Kangar to Melaka.”
Bardiani-CSF riders are also very popular in their own country. This week, they also received wild-cards for taking part in World Tour events Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo and the Giro d’Italia where they’ve won five stages in the past three editions [with Enrico Battaglin in 2013, Stefano Pirazzi, Battaglin and Canola in 2014, Nicola Boem in 2015.
Bardiani-CFS for Le Tour de Langkawi 2016: Nicola Ruffoni, Paolo Simion, Luca Chirico, Mirco Maestri, Giulio Ciccone, Simone Sterbini (Ita).