Mountains come early in 2008 Tour de Langkawi

Race shortened by one stage for 13th edition

The route of the 2008 Tour de Langkawi has just been announced with the organisers ringing a few changes for the 13th edition of the Malaysian event. 

There will be one less stage for the riders to face in Asia’s biggest race which next year takes place from February 9 – 17, and they will hit the hors categorie mountain stage in the Genting Highlands on the second rather than penultimate day. This, the organisers feel, will make for a much more open stage.

“The Tour begins in Alor Star for the first time since 2001 and after a warm-up on the first day, the riders will all be fired up to conquer Genting," said the event's chief operating officer Datuk Naim Mohamed. "In the past, many riders would have been rather spent by the time Genting comes around, however it will be a different story next year. As all the riders will be fresh, we can expect a battle royale up Genting.” 

In another change, the usual final stage, the Kuala Lumpur Criterium, has been replaced by a new route from Seremban to Dataran Merdeka covering a gruelling 153km. A record 25 teams including five Pro Tour outfits and ten from Asia will participate in  the race which is sanctioned by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation, the UCI and the Asian Cycling Confederation.

The race's organising body, Malaysia's Ministry of Youth and Sport, has also embraced the idea of taking it closer to the people. More events will be organised on the ground which should create a carnival-like atmosphere at all start and finish venues, they say. The Ministry is  keen to promote cycling at the grass root level and to encourage more Malaysians to get on their bikes as a means to a healthier lifestyle.

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