By Greg Johnson
Malaysian rider Ng Yong Li will ride with newly-established continental team Vitoria-ASC in 2007, making him the first Malaysian professional rider. The 21-year-old rider will make his debut with the new Portuguese outfit on home soil at February's Le Tour de Langkawi.
"It always has been my dream to compete for a professional outfit team and my dream has come true. I am happy to be the first Malaysian road cyclist to turn pro,'' Yong Li told the Malaysian Star. "Riding with the Portugal outfit will definitely will push me to my limits.''
Yong Li has contested "Langkawi" on two previous occasions - with Proton T-Bikes in 2005, where he crashed on the ninth stage and in 2006 for Equipe-Asia, where a knee injury prevented the Batu Pahat rider from performing. He believes the injury has been completely healed now and is looking forward to this year's event.
"Although I have not trained with the team, I promise to give it my best shot and hope to finish in a creditable position," said Yong Li. "I have been unlucky in the last two Tours - once because of a crash and then because of a knee injury. I hope my performance this year will be better. My target is to finish among the top five in the Asian category."
The Vitoria-ASC outfit will be lead by Angel Edo, who took victory in the opening stage of Vuelta a Castilla y Leon last year.