Team Tinkoff Credit Systems will return to the Tour de Langkawi, February 9 to 17, with the aim to be amongst the front-runners for the overall crown. The Italy-based team will arrive with Russian Pavel Brutt, who won a stage in last year's race.
"It was a dream start of the year," reflected the 25 year-old. "The victory, my first one for the new team and actually the very first one of the team on the whole, was naturally a great inspiration. The race gave a good basis to dwell on, and had a very positive effect on the first half of the season, including the Giro [d'Italia].
"All in all, it goes well with my physique to start racing early on, in exotic locations on top of that. In my junior years I regularly raced in winter somewhere as far as Latin America."
Pavel Brutt will be joined by Sergey Klimov, Nikolai Trusov (Russia), Yauhen Sobal (Belarus), Walter Pedraza (Colombian) and Alberto Loddo (Italy), with Team Manager Claudio Cozzi.
The team also includes five-stage winner Alberto Loddo, who was signed in the off-season. The Italian sprinter will be backed this time around by a promising 22 year-old Russian sprinter Nikolai Trusov, who also rode last year's edition.
"The race was excellently organised and it was top level in every respect. Not a single detail got overlooked. Suffice to say, we were given a week to get adapted to heat and a new time zone. The Tour de Langkawi left the sensation of great discovery, fantastic days spent in a country so different from all I had visited before," continued Brutt.
Having made their maiden appearance in the Giro d'Italia last year, Tinkoff is chasing the world's biggest race – the Tour de France. "The Tour de France is a lifetime dream of our team boss Oleg Tinkov, and the dream is shared by all the riders and staff members. But at the same time it's a strategic goal which takes a serious foundation to base on. At the moment we are in the process of building this foundation."