Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Top riders ready to strike Kuala Terengganu - Le Tour De Langkawi 2017
Cycling superstar Filippo Pozzato and up and coming sprinter Jakub Mareczko (Willier Triestina), GC contender Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Colombian prodigy Egan Bernal (Androni Giocattoli) and local hero Anuar Manan (Terengganu TSG) attended the top riders pre-race press conference in Kuala Terengganu ahead of the 22nd edition of Le Tour de Langkawi due to start in Kuala Berang on Wednesday 22 February.
Anuar Manan: "We’ve been training and taking part in local criteriums for six weeks in Australia under our new coach Jeremy Hunt who’s been a Team Sky rider. The condition is good but other teams have also prepared LTdL very seriously. For the next LTdL, some young Malaysian riders have a good potential for performing but for now, it’s still up to me and my team-mates."
Jakub Mareczko: "There are many good sprinters on the start line, mostly from Italy with Nicolas Marini from Nippo-Vini Fantini, Marco Benfatto and Andrea Palini of Androni Giocattoli. I also know Scott Sunderland from Australia for racing him in China before. I’ll try to repeat the stage victory I got here last year. We have a strong team for that with Rafael Andriato and Filippo Pozzato to lead me out in the finales."
Filippo Pozzato: "I’ve wanted to do Le Tour de Langkawi many times but I was always doing Tirreno-Adriatico. Since our team hasn’t been invited to Tirreno-Adriatico, I took the opportunity to come here after the Tour of Oman to get a good condition for Milan-Sanremo. I’d like to go for a stage win myself but we also have a great team to lead Mareczko out in the bunch sprints."
Jacques Janse van Rensburg: "This is my seventh time taking part in Le Tour de Langkawi. There’s always a nice atmosphere for racing here. We came with an all rounded team for sprinting and riding for GC, which seems to work for our team as we won this race in the past two years. We have an all African team, except from Ben O’Connor who is an Australian. I hope to be able to fight for GC. Cameron Highlands is always a tough climb at the end and that’s where the GC should be decided."
Egan Bernal: "I’ve trained a lot ahead of this season and I started racing in Argentina with the Vuelta a San Juan. I felt good there, so I want to do well at Le Tour de Langkawi. It’s a good race for me and an important event in my career. Many Colombians have made their fame over here. I’m still very young. I don’t have enough experience yet to be able to tell where and when I’ll be a winner. I want to learn first. I’ve been told that Cameron Highlands isn’t a too hard climb. I hope it’ll be a good one for me."
Organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia and managed by Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd, the 22nd edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from 22 February to 1 March, 2017 is set to cover more than 1,200km over 8 stages, the UCI 2.HC (hors category) race featuring again as one of the biggest events on the UCI Asia Tour calendar.