Cast into epic battles from the start, another world-class peloton is expected for the 19th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from February 27 to March 8, 2014, and will be kept on their toes from start to finish. Set to cover a total distance of 1,506.5km over 10 stages, the UCI 2.HC (hors category) race featuring again as one of the biggest events on the UCI Asia Tour calendar, will also bring viewers through a myriad of breathtaking sceneries on offer in Peninsula Malaysia. Minister of Youth and Sports YB Khairy Jamaluddin announced today that the race would be more nail biting compared to previous years.
„Not only that, we are expecting exciting competition with all leaders‘ jerseys possibly changing hands everyday. It will be an open race until the very end, which will definitely keep the fans excited,“ said Khairy.
The race starts in it’s spiritual home in Langkawi with a tricky 101.1km route dotted throughout the stage. The peloton won’t have it easy with five category 4 climbs throughout the stage, beginning with an ascent up Bukit Malut, just five kilometres from the start in Porto Malai.
That will be followed by a stage that begins at a new start venue, in Amanjaya, Sungai Petani, Kedah with the second stage covering 132.5km to the serene finish venue at the Taiping Lake Gardens.
In stage 3, the race will be finishing at Dataran Merdeka, which was previously the iconic last stage for previous editions of LTdL, before Terengganu came in as venue sponsor, this will give fans in Kuala Lumpur a nostalgic feeling.
Though the race features its queen stage, the climb to the summit of Genting Highlands on Stage 4, Khairy said the winner of the red king of the mountains jersey may not necessarily emerge the victor in the mountains classification with many more points on offer in the remaining six stages.
Significantly, the holder of the yellow jersey after the Genting Highlands stage will be tested in the remaining six stages, highlighted by Stage 7, a lengthy 230.1km coastal route from Kota Tinggi to Pekan, which is the second longest stage in LTdL history.
In fact the lengthy Stages 6, 7, 8 and 9 will see the peloton cover an average distance of 200km per day, with levels of fatigue playing a major role in opening up the race.
„With 22 teams on the startlist, for the sprinters‘ teams the favourites will also find it hard to win every flat stage, which might also not necessarily finish in bunch sprints,“ said Khairy.
LTdL 2014, which carries the tagline „The Heat is Back“, is the sequel to last year’s ‘The Heat is on” which have help boost the impact of LTdL’s brand to the worldwide media. LTdL has been dubbed as the hottest annual race in Asia, run under immense tropical heat, with passionate cycling fans lined-up along the route, which seldom is part of the challenge in races across the continent.
“LTdL is not only known as racing under the intense heat, the hardest climb up to Genting Highlands. It is also known that the race receives the warmest welcome and support from all Malaysians. For Asian riders, LTdL is a platform to showcase their talents against the best in the world.”
„Theo Bos, Francesco Chicchi, Brian Coquard, Pierre Rolland and Andrea Guardini provided a healthy impact for the race last year. Their superstar status raised the interest of the international media about the race and last year we received increased coverage because of that,”
“For the 2014 edition I am pleased to announce that Pro Team Saxo-Tinkoff have confirmed their participation and I was told that the organizers are still in discussion with 2 more Pro Teams to add to the line-up.“ said Khairy.
“In 2013, LTdL reached a historical milestone with the latest collaboration with sports channel Eurosports. 10 hour Highlights of the race were broadcasted in Eurosport 1, Eurosports 2 and Eurosports Asia Pacific to more than 160 countries and along Internet TV site Cycling TV that has over a million subscribers. Looking at the statistics, this exposure will definitely help the promotion of Visit Malaysia 2014,”
YB Khairy also highlighted the fact that the UCI had also, for a fourth consecutive year, acknowledged the level of organisation by according the race an „excellent level of organisation“ certificate.
In confirming that via an official letter, UCI expertise coordinator (road events) Josephine Clausen also noted that this was due to the high levels of safety during the event, along with good information provided via briefings of press motorcycle pilots and technical guides.
The LTdL received very positive remarks for safety throughout the race especially with the presence of 78 motorcycle escorts and 30 marshals on motorbikes. The organisers‘ reaction to flooding, with an alternative route with its profile and detailed map established overnight, also received high remarks from the UCI.
Apart from the organisation, the 18th edition also attracted an unprecedented participation of five UCI Pro Teams with the Astana, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Garmin-Sharp, Blanco Pro Cycling and Orica-GreenEdge teams competing in the race. The 2014 edition, can be expected to see an even stronger participation from the top teams.
Also present in the launching were Ministry of Youth and Sports Deputy Minister YB Datuk Saravanan Murugan, Secretary General Datuk Jamil Bin Salleh, National Sports Council Director General Dato‘ Seri Zolkples Embong, Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Tuan Haji Abu Samah Abdul Wahab, state officials and tour sponsors.
Le Tour de Langkawi 2014 RACE ROUTE
Stage 1 – Thursday 27th February 2014 : Langkawi (101.1km)
Stage 2 – Friday 28th February 2014 : Sungai Petani – Taiping (132.5km)
Stage 3 – Saturday 1st March 2014 : Kampar – Kuala Lumpur (166.5km)
Stage 4 – Sunday 2nd March 2014 : MAS Subang – Genting Highlands (110.9km)
Stage 5 – Monday 3rd March 2014 : Karak – Rembau (139.3km)
Stage 6 – Tuesday 4th March 2014 : Melaka – Pontian Kechil (199.1km)
Stage 7 – Wednesday 5th March 2014 : Kota Tinggi – Pekan (230.1km)
Stage 8 – Thursday 6th March 2014 : Kuantan – Marang (202.6km)
Stage 9 – Friday 7th March 2014 : Bandar Permaisuri – Kuala Terengganu (109.7km)
Stage 10 – Saturday 8th March 2014 : Tasik Kenyir – Kuala Terenganu Loop (114.7km)
TOTAL DISTANCE : 1506.5km
PAST OVERALL WINNERS
Year Name Country/Team
2013 JULIAN DAVID ARREDONDO MORENO (COL) Team Nippo – de Rosa
2012 JOSE RODOLFO SERPA PEREZ (COL) Androni Giocatolli – Venezuela
2011 JONATHAN MONSALVE (VEN) Androni Giocatolli
2010 JOSE RUJANO GUILLEN (VEN) ISD-Neri
2009 JOSE RODOLFO SERPA PEREZ (COL) Diquigiovanni-Androni
2008 RUSLAN IVANOV (Moldova) Diquigiovanni-Androni
2007 ANTHONY CHARTEAU (France) Credit-Agricole
2006 DAVID GEORGE South Africa National Team
2005 RYAN COX South Africa National Team
2004 FREDDY EXCELINO GONZALEZ MARTINEZ (COL) Selle Italia
2003 TOM DANIELSON (USA) Saturn
2002 HERNAN DARIO MUNOZ (COL) Selle Italia
2001 PAOLO LANFRANCHI (ITA) Mapei Quickstep
2000 CHRISTOPHER HORNER (USA) Mercury
1999 PAOLO LANFRANCHI (ITA) Mapei
1998 GABRIELE MISSAGLIA (ITA) MAPEI
1997 LUCA SCINTO (ITA) MG-Technogym
1996 DAMIAN MCDONALD (USA) Giant-AIS