Le Tour De Langkawi is an annual countrywide cycling competition that starts out in Langkawi. Asia’s biggest bicycle race, it began in 1996 and is part of the Union Cycliste Internationale Asia Tour. Taking cyclists to several states within Malaysia, the race ends with 12 laps around Merdeka Square.
Le Tour De Langkawi is divided into four jerseys (categories) – General, Points, King of the Mountains and Asian Riders; additionally, there are two team titles. The 2011 event started on January 22 with 23 teams from around the world competing.
History of Le Tour De Langkawi
Le Tour De Langkawi was started based on an idea by former Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr. Mahatir Mohammad. The first few years saw the tour starting out in Langkawi. Visits to Sabah and Sarawak became part of the 1997 race but poor cargo service led several teams to face long delays in getting equipment (and even riders!). It forced the organisers to cancel the second stage of the tour and since then Le Tour De Langkawi has never visited that section of Borneo again.
Le Tour De Langkawi has faced several interesting setbacks over the years – in 2003 and 2006, stages of the race were cancelled due to heavy downpours; in 2004 police officials mistakenly allowed public vehicles onto the road despite the ongoing race. The incident was settled amongst the riders when they decided to neutralise the first stage of the race.
Since Genting Highlands is the toughest leg of the Le Tour De Langkawi, in 2008 Fraser’s Hill replaced the arduous climb: however in 2009, Genting Highlands reclaimed its spot on the circuit. Throughout the race’s history, only Italian professional road bicycle racer Paolo Lanfranchi has managed to win the competition twice.
- Highlights: 8-15th March 2015