KUALA LUMPUR: Thousands of motorists were caught in a jam for hours due to the closure of major roads because of the Le Tour de Langkawi 2004.
Congestion was bad on the Federal Highway, Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), Sungai Buloh and Rawang and roads leading to them.
Traffic in parts of the city, Petaling Jaya, Rawang and Sungai Buloh turned into a crawl when motorists were heading for home after work.
City traffic chief Supt Ahmad Shamsuri Ahmad Mukri said the roads were closed at 11am and were reopened once the last cyclist had passed.
We did not close all the roads at the same time we did it in stages.
The last cyclist passed by our last check-point near Sungai Buloh at about 11.37am and all the roads were reopened by 11.45am, he added.
He said the police did not encounter any major problem throughout the race.
The roads closed yesterday included Jalan Bukit Pantai, Jalan Bangsar, Jalan Maarof, Jalan Semantan, Jalan Damansara, the LDP, Jalan Sungai Buloh and RawangBatang Kali trunk road.
Supt Ahmad Shamsuri said congestion along the Federal Highway was due to an increase in the number of vehicles heading to the MidValley Megamall shopping complex for a travel fair.
He added that the volume of traffic had increased as over 60,000 football fans were expected to attend the Super League which was to kick off at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.
He said 70 police personnel were to be sent to direct the traffic to ensure a smooth flow along with the police Air Unit.
He reminded motorists that the final stage of the Le Tour de Langkawi race would be held at the Dataran Merdeka at 2pm today.
Jalan Raja will be closed from 8am while other roads will be closed from 2pm until the race is over, he said.
Other roads closed today are Medan Pasar, Lebuh Ampang, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
He urged motorists to use alternative roads such as Jalan Mahameru, Jalan Pudu, Jalan Hang Tuah, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Loke Yew and Jalan Sungai Besi when travelling to their destination.
Yesterday, The Star was inundated with calls from motorists who were furious about the jam.
One caller said it took him five hours to travel from Petaling Street to Bukit Jalil.
I had to take a taxi midway as my car overheated during the journey, he said.
Another caller, travelling from Old Klang Road to Petaling Jaya, said it took him almost two hours when it should just take 20 minutes.
An irate caller from Rawang said he only moved 50m in one-and-a-half hours when travelling to the city.