KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 -- The Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2020 organiser, Human Voyage, has made efforts to ensure the smooth running of the Borneo stage, which begins this week.
The teams, riders, officials and guests started arriving in Kota Kinabalu yesterday, for the official team presentation and the Resorts World Genting Kota Kinabalu Criterium International race, which are scheduled for Feb 5 and 6 respectively.
Chief operating officer Shahaizereen A Hamid said the organiser has stepped up efforts to ensure all organisational aspects of the race, including health safety precautions in the wake of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak, were in place.
He said the details on land and air transportation of the teams, officials and the whole entourage to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching had been carefully looked into to avoid any serious logistical challenges.
"All related parties including the local agencies are well aware of their responsibilities. We’ll be ready for any eventuality and we hope to provide a safe and conducive environment for riders, teams, officials and the whole entourage during the race," he said in a statement today.
A total of 21 teams have confirmed their participation in the 25th edition of the race, which starts with the Resorts World Genting Kota Kinabalu Criterium International Race at Padang Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu on Feb 6.
The inaugural Criterium race will be held in conjunction with the silver jubilee celebration of LTdL this year before Stage 1 of the race proper takes place on Feb 7 at Padang Merdeka, Kuching.
Since its inception in 1997, LTdL has been confined to peninsula routes with Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi as its regular start and finish venues respectively.
The teams confirmed for this year’s edition include one World Tour, five Pro Continental, 14 Continental teams and one national team (Malaysia).
Two Chinese-based teams – Hengxiang and Giant Racing – have pulled out from the race due to the Wuhan virus outbreak.
A new champion would be crowned as the previous overall winner Benjamin Dyball (formerly of Team Sapura Cycling) would not be defending his Yellow Jersey.
Dyball has been snapped up by South African-based outfit NTT Pro Cycling, who would surely attract a lot of attention as a World Tour team.
Three regular Italian outfits are out to prove their worth while France, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Australia will have representatives in the 2020 peloton.
The 10-day race is scheduled from Feb 6 to 15, covering a total distance of 1,114.9 km across eight states -- Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kedah -- and the Federal Territories of Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.
Confirmed teams (as at Feb 2):
NTT Pro Cycling Team (RSA)
Androni Giacatolli-Sidermec (ITA)
Bardian CSF Fanzane (ITA)
Nippo Delko One Provence (FRA)
Vini Zabu KTM (ITA)
B&B Hotels-Vital Concept (FRA)
Aisan Racing team (JPN)
Team Bridgelane (AUS)
PGN Cycling Team (INA)
KSPO Professional (KOR)
ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast (AUS)
SSOIS Miogee Cycling Team (CHN)
St George Continental Team (AUS)
Team Sapura Cycling (MAS)
Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team (MAS)
Thailand Continental Team (THA)
Vino-Astana Motors (KAZ)
Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling (USA)
Utsunomiya Blitzen (JPN)
HKSI (Hong Kong)
Malaysian National Team
BERNAMA, 3 February 2020