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Tour de Langkawi aiming for five-year commitment

The peloton flies by Kuala Lumpur's Coliseum.

The peloton flies by Kuala Lumpur's Coliseum. (Image credit: Shane Goss)

Following a couple of challenging years for the race, the Tour de Langkawi appears to be moving forward again more smoothly. It is hoped that a long-term commitment will be secured soon for the backing of the event.

The 15th edition of the race will be held on March 1-7 and, depending on how that goes, things may become more straightforward as regards the future of the seven-day contest.

"We have developed a plan with the Malaysian Government, the Malaysian National Cycling Federation [MNCF] and our sponsors for the next five years," LTDL Chief Executive Officer Mohamed bin Salleh said to Cyclingnews recently. "We hope to see it approved after the 2010 edition."

If commitment is given for that period, it should help both the race and Malaysian cycling to develop. Tourism should also benefit, as the event plays an important role in showcasing the landscape, culture and customs of Malaysia.

The 2.HC-ranked UCI Asia Tour event will take place three weeks later than the 2009 race. The date has been moved in order to avoid colliding with the Chinese New Year celebrations in February, and also to prevent an overlap with other Asian cycling races such as the Tours of Qatar and Oman.

A total of 20 teams are expected to travel for the event, which was won in 2009 by José Serpa (Diquigiovanni-Androni).

In addition, he's hoping that the race will be used by Malaysian riders in general as a stepping stone to international success. "LTDL has always been a launching pad for young riders who then came to achieve great success in their professional careers," he said.

That’s been the case for overseas competitors; now, it is hoped that the Malaysian riders can follow suit.