KUALA LUMPUR: Langkawi island being excluded as one of the stages in the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2023 from Sept 23-30 is not a first in the 26-year history of the road cycling race, the Dewan Rakyat was told on Monday (Sept 18).
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said in fact, the organisers have always retained Langkawi as the iconic name for the cycling tour with Pro Series status in the International Cycling Union (UCI) calendar.
"LTdL is a specialised brand for cycling known internationally. According to our records, 11 out of 26 editions took place with routes selected without involving Langkawi island and based on technical evaluation it involved different race routes in the previous years," she said.
Hannah said this when winding up the debate for her ministry on the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) Mid-Term Review (MTR) at the Dewan Rakyat here on Monday.
Hannah said for this edition, routes were originally proposed to explore as many cities and small towns in the Peninsula as possible, but after the technical evaluation, it was decided that they would only involve 11 states with a total distance of 1,278.1km involving eight race stages.
"Besides this, the selection of routes is based on factors to maintain the strong and difficult challenges synonymous with LTdL and also taking into account mobility and high logistics costs,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hannah said the ministry has approved a RM400,000 allocation, channeled to the Perlis State Sports Council, to upgrade the motocross circuit in Sungai Batu Pahat, Kangar.
"This shows the Federal Government's commitment to continue helping states like Perlis to improve sports there,” she said.- Bernama