Organisers of the 2010 Tour de Langkawi have announced Italian Professional Continental team ISD-Neri as one of the first fourteen squads confirmed to compete in the fifteenth edition of the race, March 1-7.
Making their second appearance in the event, ISD-Neri will be joined by 10 other professional teams, as well as national federation line-ups from South Africa, Kazakhstan and host nation Malaysia. The field will eventually comprise 20 teams, with race organisers to announce the final six squads in the coming weeks. Secretary General of the Malaysian Sports Ministry, Datuk Mohd Yasin Mohd Salleh, expressed his confidence that the Tour would provide the participant teams with a strong platform for their respective seasons.
"We believe that ISD-Neri will be more competitive after experiencing the hardships of racing under extreme hot and humid weather in Malaysia," he said. "We have identified other teams' application [to take part] and will decide the remaining teams that will compete in the Tour soon."
Alongside 6-rider rosters from ISD-Neri, South Africa, Kazakhstan and Malaysia will be Continental teams Drapac Porsche (Australia), Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team (Iran), Seoul Cycling (South Korea), Marco Polo Cycling Team (China), Aisan Racing Team (Japan), Max Success Sport Racing Team (China), Geumsan Ginseng Asia (South Korea), Azad University (Iran), Giant Asia Racing Team (Taiwan) and LeTua Cycling Team (Malaysia).
While squads such as Tabriz and LeTua have appeared at the Tour before, several new Asian-based teams will make their debuts this season. Organisers are hopeful that these squads will continue the traditionally attacking style teams from the Asian region have displayed in past editions.
"We welcome new teams from China, Max Success Sport and Geumsan Ginseng Asia from South Korea appearing for the first time in Malaysia and at the Tour de Langkawi. We are confident with the presence of these teams, the race will be lively and intense," said Mohd Salleh.
Ranked Hors Category by the International Cycling Union (UCI), the Tour will commence from Kota Bharu in north-east of the country on March 1, and follow a route down the east coast of the Malaysian peninsula. The race will include a queen stage to Genting Highlands on the penultimate day of the event, and is once again likely to decide the final overall classification. While the race will end in Kuala Lumpur, organisers have abandoned the traditional street circuit criterium in favour of a 133.7 kilometre road stage that will conclude in the nation's capital.
The 20 team, 120-rider peloton will cover a total distance of 1019.3 kilometres over the seven stage race.
Last year, the race was won overall by Colombian José Serpa (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli), ahead of Jai Crawford (Australian National Team) and Serpa's Venezuelan teammate, Jackson Rodriguez.
|Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team|
|Seoul Cycling Team|
|Marco Polo Cycling Team|
|Aisan Racing Team|
|Max Success Sport Cycling Team|
|Le Tua Cycling Team|
|Team Geumsan Ginseng Asia|
|Azad University Cycling Team|
|Giant Asia Racing Team|