Friday, 3 March 2017
PUTRAJAYA: A reduced budget and number of stages for the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) did not rob the intensity or prestige of the race since Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd, the organisers of the tour, had taken great pains to ensure all details of organising met the criteria.
The presence of one Pro Tour team (Dimension Data) from South Africa and a number of Pro Continental Teams from Europe, was a clear indication that the prestigious cycling tour in Asia which started in 1996, had not lost its luster.
Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Emir Abdul Jalal said the 22nd edition of the LTdL had all the ingredients of a great race that attracted the attention of viewers from all over the world.
“We are aware of the global economic downturn and LTdL was not spared. There was a smaller allocation, meaning a reduced number of stages, but the tour was not short of participation from world class teams, coverage from the media and facilities.
“What was needed to host a ‘Hors’ category race as required by the International Cycling Union (UCI), we had fulfilled and the commissars appointed by UCI were satisfied with the organising of the LTdL,” said Emir after the curtains came down on the LTdL 2017.
The race had also received vast coverage from foreign media, including Eurosport International with viewership reaching more than 600 million, thus putting Malaysia on the world map once again.
Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd as the organisers of the LTdL had signed a 2 years contract in 2016 and said the company had also not ruled out the possibility of bidding for the host job once again since the contract for the host job with the Ministry of Youth and Sports had ended this year.
The company had received a grant of RM11 million this year from the Ministry of Youth and Sports compared with RM16 million last year but the cost of hosting the event this year had reached RM15.5 million, he said.
Meanwhile, local teams and riders, headed by Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) put up a better performance than last year after finishing on the podium of a number of stages.
Among them was Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Mazuki who claimed the Polka Dot red jersey in the first stage on 22 February, while skipper Mohd Zamri Salleh finished third in stage 3 on Friday.
The LTdL 2017 overall title was won by Dimension Data team rider Ryan Gibbons from South Africa.
South African riders have a rich tradition in the LTdL since Ryan Cox representing Team Barloworld had won the title in 2005, followed by David George from Team South Africa in 2006 and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg from Dimension Data team last year.
Source by: Internet