As a result of the cancellation of two Italian races, the Giro di Sardegna and the Giro del Friuli, Colombia’s José Serpa has had a change of program that will see him return to Malaysia to take part in his pet race, the Tour de Langkawi, from February 24 to March 4.
Serpa debuted as professional in Langkawi back in 2006, and has been a regular of the 2.HC race ever since. His greatest success came in 2009 when after four attempts he finally took out the overall victory. Team manager Gianni Savio said that the forced change in Serpa's program was perhaps a blessing in allowing the climber to return to the race that has given him so much success.
"Serpa was initially scheduled for these two Italian races following his results last year: he finished 2nd in the Sardegna and won the Giro del Friuli," said Savio.
"It's funny though, the Tour de Langkawi organisation have done me a favour because it gives me the opportunity to send Serpa to Malaysia once more. I’m delighted to add José to our line-up in a race that is close to both his and my heart."
Serpa will join previous winners, José Rujano and Yonatta Monsalve in the squad, creating a formidable line-up.
"As always, we’ll do our best to honor the race but we’ll have to be even more attentive of what our rivals will be doing in the flat stages [with only one Mountain day in this year's race," said Savio. "Tactically, I think it won’t be easy."
Serpa recently completed the Tour de San Luis where he finished 6th (5th after the Contador decision).