South African WorldTour team Dimension Data have announced its six-rider team for the 2016 Le Tour de Langkawi to be led by Reinardt Janse van Rensburg. The all African team also includes Jaco Venter who will debut his new South African national champion kit having won the title earlier this month.
Defending champion Youcef Reguigui will miss the race with the Algerian focusing instead on the African Championships that take place later this week in Morocco.
"It is my first time in Langkawi and I am looking forward to having some sprint opportunities to go for a result. I heard that it can get quite hectic in the finals here, but we have a strong team that can bring me into position at the right times," said Janse van Rensburg.
With the majority of the stages favouring bunch spring finishes, stage 4 from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands is set to decide the general classification which Janse van Rensburg is prepared for as he explained.
"We are not doing Genting this year but Cameron Highlands, which will be the big GC day. The way we do Cameron this year seems a little bit more difficult than in the past, so it is difficult to make a judgement on it now. Either way, we have guys ready for every scenario," he added.
Adrien Niyonshuti, the only non-South African in the team, makes his season debut at the race with Nicolas Dougall and Johann Van Zyl also selected for Le Tour de Langkawi. Songezo Jim will start his fourth race of the year on a third continent having started his season in Australia with the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, and the Dubai Tour in the UAE.
Dimension Data's first season in the top tier of the sport has seen the team claim victories at the Tour of Qatar with Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen, and further stage wins at the Tour of Oman again with Boasson Hagen. The team is also set to line up at the Gran Premio Città di Lugano this week before heading to Paris-Nice early next month.
The eight stage race starts February 24 in Kangar and concludes March 2 Melaka. For the full 2016 Le Tour de Langkawi start list, click here