The first 13 teams have been named for the 17th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi, which in 2012 will move to a later start date with the opening stage time trial kicking off proceedings on February 24.
At the race's Main Coordinating Committee (MCC) meeting today, the parties reaffirmed their commitment to the cause and it is all systems go for the UCI 2.HC class race.
Le Tour de Langkawi is set to see the return of at least two UCI Pro Teams, with American outfit Garmin-Cervélo and Asia's biggest cycling team, Pro Team Astana of Kazakhstan, among the 13 teams already confirmed for the race, which Youth and Sports Committee secretary general Dato' Mohid Mohamed announced will be expected to feature 22 teams in total.
"All the states and government bodies involved are happy to be chosen and host venues for 2012 and have pledged to give their full support to ensure the success of Le Tour de Langkawi," said Dato' Mohid.
"Le Tour de Langkawi's progress for the 2012 is on schedule, the states involved are called much earlier on this time so they can prepare in advance," he added.
Preparation will be vital for the 2012 race, which will feature 10 stages and some interesting highlights, including an individual time trial in Putrajaya. This will be the first time since 2006 that an individual time trial has featured, held in Melacca.
The historic state of Malacca will host two stage starts and a finish, while the local cycling hotbed of Terengganu will host the final three stage finishes and two starts.
The race, which will cover a total distance of over 1400 kilometres, will also see the return of lengthy stages, topped by a 215.8 kilometre stage from Bentong to Kuantan on the seventh day of the tour, which comes right after the queen stage to the Genting Highlands the previous day.
This, Dato' Mohid said, is aimed at giving sponsors their desired mileage with the time trial alone set to hit the television screens live for two hours continuously.
The 13 teams so far announced for the 2012 Le Tour de Langkawi are: Malaysia National Team, Taiwan National Team, MTN Quebeca, Aisan Racing Team, Chipotle Development Team, PureBlack Racing, Drapac Professional Cycling, Max Success Sports, Terengganu Pro-Asia Cycling Team, LeTua Cycling Team, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, Pro Team Astana, Team Garmin-Cervelo.