Cardoso to lead Footon-Servetto in Langkawi

The Le Tour de Langkawi has secured its first ProTour squad for the 2010 edition just weeks before the event starts, with Footon-Servetto joining the team roster. Footon confirmed it will send a squad led by Tour Down Under stage winner Manuel Cardoso, the current Portuguese national road champion.

Cardoso won’t be the only national road champion Footon-Servetto brings to Langkawi with Austrian road race champion Markus Eibegger being joined by compatriot and time trial champion Matthias Brandle. The roster will feature two Spanish riders in neo professional Pedro Merino and Tour de San Luis stage winner Rafael Valls.

Australian Johnnie Walker will return to Langkawi with the squad, having previously contested the event with the team.

The team of Mario Gianetti provided one of the highlights at last year’s race, with the revelation of former mountain biker Frederrik Kessiakoff’s abilities on a road bike.

Traditionally held in early February Langkawi has struggled to attract its usual level of teams, with its new March 1-7 date on the doorstep of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. Gianni Savio’s Androni-Diquigiovanni, which is usually dominant at the Malaysian race, won’t contest this year’s edition due to its proximity to Adriatico.

Prior to Footon-Servetoo’s commitment to the race, it had no ProTour outfits and just one Professional Continental team competing in ISD-Neri. The remainder of the teams are continental or national squads like Drapac Porsche and Jayco Skins.

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