The Tour of Langkawi has announced the first five teams, all from the Asia-Pacific region, for the 2011 edition of the race. Tabriz Petrochemical (Iran), Aisan Racing Team (Japan), Polygon Cycling Team (Indonesia), Drapac-Porsche (Australia) and Giant Asia Racing Team (Taiwan), all Continental-ranked teams, are assured of starting places at the race in Malaysia.
"As Le Tour de Langkawi is one of only four UCI H.C. races on the Asia Tour, it’s part of our duty to give exposure to some of the teams from our continent”, said the CEO of Le Tour de Langkawi, Mohamed Salleh. “Some teams are faithful to our event and we’re happy to reward them by inviting them once again.”
Tabriz Petrochemical won the teams’ competition at the race this year, and had three riders in the top ten overall, including Hossein Askari as third.
Aisan will be making only its second appearance at the race, after its successful 2010 debut. Taiji Nashitani won the fourth stage, outsprinting eventual U23 world champion Michael Matthews.
Drapac-Porsche also won a stage this year, and the team features Peter McDonald, who not only finished fourth overall but also won the King of the Mountains title. The team has signed Malaysian national road champion Adiq Husainie Othman for 2011.
David McCann will lead Giant Asia Racing Team and the 37-year-old Irishman is hugely motivated. “There’s one race I’d like to win in Asia before I quit racing, it’s Le Tour de Langkawi,” he said.
Eighteen more teams will ride the race, for a total of 23. Of these, three will come from Malaysia, ten from Asia-Pacific and ten from Europe and the US. “Our technical department is working hard on getting good teams to attend our race," Mohamed said. “We’re confident that the sixteenth edition of Le Tour de Langkawi will be a very good one on an international scale.”
The Tour of Langkawi will start on January 23 on the island of Langkawi. It will run for 10 stages and a total of 1315.4 kilometers before ending on February 1 in Dataran Merdeka.