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Tour de Langkawi

Le Tour de Langkawi participants passing through Kuala Selangor
Local name Tour de Langkawi (TdL)
Region 22px-Flag of Malaysia.png Malaysia, Malay Peninsula
Date Late January, early February
Type Stage Race
First Edition 1996
Number of Editions 10
First Winner Damian McDonald (Australia)
Most Wins Paolo Lanfranchi (Italy), 2 times


Le Tour de Langkawi (French for "Tour of Langkawi") is an annual cycling race which is held in Malaysia. The name of the event comes from the starting point of the first few editions, in Langkawi, Kedah, although some later editions did not include Langkawi in the race at all. The race is part of the UCI Asia Tour.

Although this tour is not awarded Protour points, some professional bike teams cite this tour as a major pre-season warm-up before going back to Europe.

History

The race was created by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad. It was held for the first time in 1996 with twelve stages and a prologue stage where the classification and time do not count. However, under the UCI's request, the tour was trimmed to ten stages starting with the 2002 tour.

In 2004, the existing owner of this race sold the entire Tour to Simon Donnellan. Under this new ownership the 2005 race was beset with logistical problems, with some riders not receiving prize money and large contractors not being paid. With this dark cloud hanging over it and impending legal action, the 2006 race was run on a smaller scale (see Fiasco).

There have been two incidents that cause race neutralisation. First it occured in the first stage of the 2004 edition, with police officials mistakenly opening the way for public vehicles onto the race track while the race was still ongoing to decide the winner of the first stage. After negotiations between the riders, they decided to neutralise the race.

In the final stage of the 2006 competition, the race was cancelled with ten laps remaining due to heavy rain. Despite the track conditions deteriorating, the race organisers decided to abandon the race and declared Angel Dominguez as winner because he was leading at the time of the cancellation.

Year Winner Team
1996 22px-Flag of Australia.png Damian McDonald Giant-AIS
1997 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Luca Scinto MG-Technogym
1998 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Gabrielle Missaglia Mapei-Bricobi
1999 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Paolo Lanfranchi Mapei-Quickstep
2000 22px-Flag of the United States.png Chris Horner Mercury Cycling Team
2001 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Paolo Lanfranchi Mapei-Quickstep
2002 22px-Flag of Colombia.png Hernan Dario Munoz Colombia Selle-Italia
2003 22px-Flag of the United States.png Tom Danielson Saturn Cycling Team
2004 22px-Flag of Colombia.png Freddy Gonzalez Colombia Selle-Italia
2005 22px-Flag of South Africa.png Ryan Cox Barloworld
2006 22px-Flag of South Africa.png David George South Africa


Famous Stages

The tour is held across Peninsular Malaysia and does not include the islands. In 1997, the tour began across the sea in Sabah and continued through neighbouring Sarawak before moving to the mainland. Trouble with flights to the island caused complaints from the riders and forced the unofficialization of the second and third stages. 3 Pro Teams Balk at Logistics in Asian Bike Race.

Genting Highlands and Dataran Merdeka of Kuala Lumpur are the two famous stages that have appeared in every edition of the race. Genting Highlands is a famous mountain stage appeared in the penultimate stage of the race before unpredictablity started in 2005, the toughest stages of the tour, rider need a lot of stamina in the last five kilometres of the climb.

For Dataran Merdeka it appeared in the final stage of the tour as a circuit race. Mostly the jersey will not decide in this stage. It just a complete scheldule stage.

Jersey

Template:Copyedit In its history, Yellow Jersey and King of Mountain are the two jerseys to have never changed color although the Yellow Jersey is sponsored by Telekom Malaysia. It does not match its logo color, however; a standard color for overall classification winner set by UCI was always in use. For King of Mountain, the Genting Group was the sponsor from the beginning edition of the tour and set the jersey color to white and red, named Pokadot Jersey.

The other two jerseys: Sprinter and The Best Asian Rider all have changed color for various times through to match the sponsor color. The Sprinter Jersey started with the green color sponsored by Petronas. However, because Petronas was unsatisfied that the tour was branded TM Le Tour de Langkawi, Petronas decided not to sponsor starting in 2004. Proton replaced it as the sponsor for the Sprinter Jersey and changed the color to blue.

In the same year, a new sponsor was found for the Best of Asian Rider Jersey, Malaysia Airlines, and the color of the jersey changed to blue and red. But due to the financial problems with Malaysian Airlines in 2006, the Tourism Board of Malaysia was replaced them and changed the color to white, blue, and red on the Asian Jersey.

Fiasco

Despite the fiasco of several teams, the 2007 tour remain in doubt. Several teams were told that they never receive a prize money or some of the prize money. South Africa teams already insists that they only receive for 2005 edition prize money and still owe for the 2006 edition, are prepare to fiasco for the event. Cycling/Ltdl Fiasco: South Africans may stay away. Retrieved August 21, 2006. This issue has been raised for a year but still unsolved, although they are several other teams also in the same issue like Barloworld, American Pro Continental Team Navigators Insurance, Wismilak, Iran, Great Britain, Ireland Loose ends from Langkawi and Japan. Japanese team counts on promise of payment

The First Cartel (M) Sdn Bhd, the organiser, are responsible in this case. They are reported to have amassed debts of RM2.3 million for television rights, and also some RM470,394 fail to pay the winners of this year's race.Template:Cite needed

Despite this fiasco, the First Cartel (M) Sdn Bhd has been dropped from organising the tour and the role taken over by the Youth and Sports Ministry, which prepared some RM2.9 million to bail out of this issue. First Cartel Dropped as Organiser Of LTdL. Retrived August 21, 2006.

The UCI had set September 1, 2006 as a deadline for the organiser to settle its debts for the 2005 and 2006 edition, otherwise the tour will set to miss for the first time since it began in 1996. Youth And Sports Ministry To Help First Cartel Solve LTdL Problems. Retrieved August 21, 2006.

Saved

On August 28, 2006, the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor annouced 2007 tour will go on Le Tour de Langkawi will go on, says Tourism Minister Retrieved September 2, 2006 after Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) received a cheque from the country's Sports Ministry to cover the debt. Tour de Langkawi saved - almost Retrieved September 2, 2006.

External links