KUALA LUMPUR, 26 November 2019: The oldest cycling race in Asia, Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL), will take place 7 to 14 February 2020, covering a distance of 1,095.7 km in nine of Malaysia’s states.
Dates and details of the spectacular road race were announced at the weekend according to Malaysia’s news agency Bernama.
Credited with being Asia’s biggest and oldest professional cycling race, the tour has earned a place on the Professional Series (ProSeries) the World Tour and is now accredited for Europe’s Pro Continental teams.
The 2020 series will visit Sarawak, Terengganu, Pahang, Federal Territories (Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur), Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said during the launch press conference that the eight-stage race had surpassed all expectations, recording many milestones throughout the years.
“LTdL has fulfilled all of its original objectives to showcase Malaysia and Langkawi as a tourism destination as well as a sporting hub,” he said.
The PM was attending the official launch of the Petronas LTdL 2020 on Sunday a sporting event he founded in 1996. He confirmed the 2020 tour would have race stages in Sabah and Sarawak, two states the race visited last in 1997.
Since its inception 24 years ago, a total of 232 stages of LTdL have been organised throughout Malaysia.
In addition to the main race, the tour in 2020 will also feature new supplementary events such as the Criterium International and Malaysia Classic, which will make their debut next year.
The Criterium International will cater to the Under-23 (U23) category of riders with a UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) elite-racing license, while the Malaysia Classic, dubbed as the “Race of the Champions” would feature national champions from around the world.
Mahathir said besides seeing future world champions emerging in LTdL, the iconic event has also contributed to producing world-class champions such as Anuar Manan, who became the first Malaysian to win a stage and donned the green jersey (Sprint King) in 2010.
“This year, we also saw a similar feat repeated by Mohd Harrif Salleh, who is from team Terengganu Incorporated Cycling (TSG), Asia’s top-ranked Continental team.
“I believe these success stories have served as an inspiration for many Malaysians. Cycling has become more popular now in Malaysia. In this context, I would like to urge the organiser to tap into this huge interest in LTdL by taking the relevant initiatives to develop cycling as the preferred sport amongst the young,” the PM said.