PETALING JAYA: Debutants De Nardi-Colpack will bank on two riders, former Mapei Quick-Step rider Charly Wegelius and Estonian sprinter Andrus Aug, to bring them honours in the Telekom Malaysia of Langkawi (LTdL) cycling championships, which begin on Jan 31.
Wegelius, who was placed a creditable 14th overall last year, brings along with him a wealth of experience to spearhead the Slovakian team.
The 25-year-old Wegelius is a notable climber and besides aiming for a good outing in Genting Highlands, he will also be out to stake a claim in the time trial.
In a field of some of the world’s best sprinters, Wegelius finished eighth in last year’s race against the clock in Putrajaya.
His other notable result last year was a third-place finish in the fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland.
De Nardi will also be looking for some stage wins in the LTdL with Aug, who had a fruitful season with the team last year in his task as the side's sprinter.
Despite joining the pro ranks at a relatively late age of 28, Aug had so far accumulated a total of 14 victories.
De Nardi's other rider Italian Guiseppe Palumbo, formerly of Amica-Chips, is also capable of turning the tables on his rivals based on his recent form, which included winning the GP Kanton Aargau last June.
The eighth edition of the LTdL will see a total of 22 teams and 154 riders in action. The 10-day Tour covers a total distance of 1,343 km and the peloton will ride through nine states – Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Kelantan, Trengganu, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
The Tour begins with a 9.5km individual time trial race in Langkawi.
The De Nardi-Colpack riders: Andrus Aug (Est), Charly Wegelius (Eng), Simone Cadamuro (Ita), Michele Colleoni (Ita), Rafael Nuritdinov (Uzb), Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita), Devis Miorin (Ita).