SHAH ALAM : Le Tour de Langkawi will host twenty-two teams from February 24 to March 2nd, one of which will make its first appearance to the Malaysian event with huge expectations. It’s One Pro Cycling, the first ever British UCI-registered Pro Continental squad. They’ll line up in Kangar with no less than the 2011 Milan-Sanremo winner Matt Goss from Australia.
“When we first talked to their sports director Matthew Winston, we felt this team was special and had a bright future”, the CEO of Le Tour de Langkawi Emir Abdul Jalal underlined. “We were the first H.C. race to invite Tinkoff and Slipstream [later renamed Garmin and now Cannondale] back in 2007. We wish One Pro Cycling to follow their path and be just as successful in years to come.”
Le Tour de Langkawi has a rich history of inviting newly created or newly promoted Pro Continental teams such as Cervélo and ISD in 2009, MTN in 2011 even before their upgrade to the big league, RusVelo in 2012. “We’re grateful to team managers like [Tinkoff’s] Stefano Feltrin, [Dimension Data’s] Douglas Ryder or Shayne Bannan from Orica-GreenEdge who remember our help on their debuts and keep sending their team to Malaysia every time it fits into their race schedule”, Emir added.
“We have worked hard to build a race calendar for One Pro Cycling in 2016 to both develop and challenge our squad whilst always looking to be competitive”, Winston commented. “To be accepted into Le Tour de Langkawi is testament to the squad that we’ve built and I’m confident we can travel to Malaysia not only to ride the race but to be challenging for good results.”
New recruit John Ebsen is no stranger to Le Tour de Langkawi as he took part in the past three editions with three different teams (Synergy Baku, CCN and Androni). He collected notable results with 8th and 13th overall in 2013 and 2014. The Danish climber is a strong supporter of the Asia Tour.
One Pro Cycling’s star rider on Malaysian roads will be Goss who is looking for redemption after a quiet 2015 season with MTN-Qhubeka. The 29 year old Australian sprinter who won the 2011 Milan-Sanremo and opened Orica-GreenEdge’s record book in the Grand Tours with a memorable stage victory over Mark Cavendish at the 2012 Giro d’Italia will have a few occasions to show that he remains a top sprinter.
One Pro Cycling will also attract some attention for using the new Factor bikes developed by former Tour de France stars Baden Cooke and David Millar.
One Pro Cycling for Le Tour de Langkawi 2016: Karol Domagalski (Pol), John Ebsen (Den), Matt Goss (Aus), Richard Handley (Gbr), George Harper (Gbr), James Oram (Nzl)