PETALING JAYA: It’s called the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL).
Unfortunately, next year’s cycling event, to be held from Feb 22-March 1, will not make a stop in Langkawi for the second time running due to budget constraints.
LTdL chief executive officer Emir Abdul Jalal said that the Youth and Sports Ministry will be reducing their financial backing for the race due to the hosting of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games next year.
“The Ministry will have to deal with the SEA Games, so the budget cuts affect many programmes ... including ours.
“The cost of transporting the riders, officials and equipment to Langkawi is estimated at RM2mil.
“With a tight budget, we will now have to work with what he have.
“We will still maintain an eight-stage race ... as we have obligations to fulfil with our sponsors.
“We will bring in a few Pro Tour teams, although it is not compulsory, to ensure international television coverage remains,” said Emir.
It cost the organisers RM15.5mil to hold this year’s race.
The LTdL race will again skip the traditional hill climb at Genting Highlands as the resort is still undergoing renovation works.
It will be replaced by climbs up to Cameron Highlands and Gerik.
As part of efforts to promote the LTdL, the organisers will be holding the Pulau Indah 180 cycling event for the second year running.
This year’s race will see the introduction of a team category.
It will be limited to 30 teams, with 10 riders each, for the 180km race.
About 1,200 riders are expected to compete in the Pulau Indah 180 race, which will be held on Jan 15.
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