An ambitious plan by the organising committee of Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 to place the Genting Highlands mountain stage at the early part of the event has been overturned. The committee drew complaints from teams and sponsors, and decided to revise the route for the 13th edition. The dates for the Tour will remain February 9 to 17, 2008, but the finish in Genting Highlands will move to the second to last day.
"The revised route will follow traditional lines and will be a race of the highest quality, befitting its status as the leading Tour in this part of the world," said Datuk Naim Mohamad, the Chief Operating Officer of the Le Tour de Langkawi.
The revision, contrary to the press release, was anything but minor. Each and every stage has been changed, including the addition of some new start and finish towns.
"Our technical team responded very positively and were able to design a new route within a short time. We have spoken to the relevant authorities, including the various state Governments, and sponsors and they are all supportive of the change," said Datuk Naim.
The organizers assure that all preparations for the Tour are on course for the February 9 start in Alor Star where a record 25 teams will be participating, including Pro Tour, professional continental, continental and Asian teams.
"We are currently waiting for the teams to finalise their line-ups and will be announcing them in stages in the weeks leading up to the Tour," said Datuk Naim.
Original and revised routes:
Stage 1: originally Alor Star - Kulim (132.4 km) - now Alor Star to Kepala Batas (182.9km)
Stage 2: originally Tapah - Genting Highlands (125.4km) now Butterworth to Sitiawan (159.7km)
Stage 3: originally Lanchang - Cukai (195 km) now Sitiawan to Banting (209.4km)
Stage 4: originally Kuantan - Kuala Rompin (128 km) now Port Dickson to Batu Pahat (175.5km)
Stage 5: originally Kuala Rompin - Bandar Penawar (185.7 km) now Johor Bharu to Bandar Penawar (143.1km)
Stage 6: originally Bandar Penawar - Johor Baru (183.2 km) now Bandar Penawar to Kuala Rompin (182.0km)
Stage 7: originally Johor Baru - Batu Pahat (128 km) now Kuala Rompin to Kuantan (127.6km)
Stage 8: originally Melaka - Seremban (150 km) now Maran to Genting Highlands (154.8km)
Stage 9: originally Seremban - Kuala Lumpur (153.8 km) now Kuala Lumpur Criterium (80.4km)