Le Tour de Langkawi will lose its hardest climb this year, the 17km ascent to Genting Highlands, which would have formed the business end of the penultimate stage on February 16th.
Race organisers cited safety concerns in their decision to cut the climb, fearing that the Chinese New Year celebrations would make it too hard to close the road. The stage will instead be rerouted to start in Temerloh and finish at Fraser’s Hill, reducing the distance from 154 to 127km. The riders will still have to climb to an altitude of 844m, but it’s a considerably easier finish than Genting, which is 1700m above sea level.
“This is one of Genting’s busiest periods and the management informed us that it would be difficult to totally close the roads all the way too the peak as is usually done,” said the race’s Chief Operating Officer Datuk Naim Mohamad. “The Genting management proposed finishing the stage at Gohtong Jaya. But the Organizing Committee felt that with such high volume of traffic trying to access the resort, it could lead to massive jams and worse still, safety issues.”
Genting’s Resorts World will continue as sponsor of the King of the Mountains jersey, the organisers said.
A total of 25 teams, including five ProTour squads, will take part in the 13th edition of the race which runs between February 9-17th.
Stage 1 – February 9th: Alor Star – Kepala Batas (182.6km)
Stage 2 – February 10th: Butterworth – Sitiawan (159.7km)
Stage 3 – February 11th: Sitiawan – Banting (209.4km)
Stage 4 – February 12th: Port Dickson – Batu Pahat (169km)
Stage 5 – February 13th: Johor Bahru – Bandar Penawar (139.9km)
Stage 7 – February 15th: Kuala Rompin – Kuantan (126.6km)
Stage 8 – February 16th: Temerloh – Fraser’s Hill (127km)
Stage 9 – February 17th: Kuala Lumpur Criterium (80.4km)