After winning the points jersey at last year's Le Tour de Langkawi for his former team Bouygues Telecom, Aurélien Clerc is set to return to with his new squad AG2R-La Mondiale.
With fond memories of last year, Clerc said, "Last year, I wasn't supposed to take part, but I requested that I be included because Le Tour de Langkawi appeals to me more than the Tour of Qatar. It has longer stages and more climbs and is better preparation for the Classics." That preparation worked out for Clerc, who followed his Langkawi performance in 2008 with a second place in the Ghent-Wevelgem, held in Belgium.
In contrast to his program last year, Clerc will start his season with the Tour de Langkawi instead of the Tour Down Under. Despite less racing before he heads to Malaysia, Clerc is confident in his abilities after riding well at recent training camps.
"I was very happy to win the green jersey last year, but I'd be even happier to win one or more stages." The Swiss 29-year-old will get some help from his AG2R-La Mondiale lead-out man Nicolas Rousseau, a member of the French team pursuit squad at the Olympic Games in Beijing last summer.
Le Tour de Langkawi will run from February 9 in Putrajaya to February 15 in Kuala Lumpur.
AG2R-La Mondiale for Le Tour de Langkawi: Aurélien Clerc, Guillaume Bonnafond, Julien Loubet, Nicolas Rousseau, Jean-Charles Sénac, Blaise Sonnery under team manager Arturas Kasputis.