A polite crowd cheered the 132 riders set to take on the Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia at the race's team presentation on the eve of the 2012 event.
Under police escort, the race caravan left the event hotel base with the riders being dropped around five kilometres from the presentation area and the public had the opportunity to join the pro peloton. Once on stage, it was the Asian teams who had the crowd's attention, with Garmin-Barracuda also quite popular.
The 10-stage race, in oppressive humidity, is notable this season not only for the first outing of the sometime-retired Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) who returns to the event 15 years after his debut but also that of China's first ProContinental outfit Champion System. In another Asian first, Singapore's first continental team, OCBC Singapore also make their debut.
In total five former winners will be on the start line on Friday for the opening individual time trial, to be raced over 20.3 kilometres around the administrative capital of Putrajaya - Tom Danielson (2003), Fredy Gonzalez (2004), Anthony Charteau (2007), Jose Serpa (2009), Jose Rujano, (2010) and Jonathan Monsalve (2011).