Five ProTour teams are expected to be among the record 25 teams at the 13th edition of the Tour de Langkawi from February 9 - 17, 2008. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, officially launched the logo, website and Tour headquarters at the National Acquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday. Ten Asian teams will contest the race, which is sanctioned by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Asian Cycling Confederation.
"The involvement of the Ministry will ensure the continued growth and prestige of the race. The Tour will also play a massive role in the development of the sport in the country," said Datuk Naim Mohamad, the Chief Operating Officer of the Le Tour de Langkawi 2008.
To bring the Tour to more people at the grassroots level, organizers will host more events like carnivals and cycling clinics at the start and finish venues. "One of the other key messages is also to encourage more Malaysians to take up cycling as a means to a healthier lifestyle," said Datuk Naim.
The country will use the race to showcase Malaysia as a safe, holiday destination. "I believe this is the only sporting event in the country that really showcases the true beauty and charm of Malaysia," said Datuk Naim of the race that has been supported by the Malaysian Government, the various ministries, state governments, government departments and agencies.
The route will be announced on December 18.