KUALA LUMPUR (5 Feb, 2008): Malaysia’s top outfit LeTua Cycling team today unveiled their surprise new signing from Australia, Bernard Sulzberger in their team presentation for Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 in Kuala Lumpur.

The team makes it second attempt in Asia’s biggest cycling event Le Tour de Langkawi, with high hopes of registering the first ever stage win by a Malaysian rider through one of their three sprinters – Anuar Manan, Ahmad Haidar Anuawar and Sayuti Zahit.

Besides that, the recent form of the team’s veteran Indonesian climber Tonton Susanto, winner of the Jelajah Malaysia 2008, showed that they have the strength to challenge for a good position in the General Classification (GC) and have a good shot at securing Tonton’s record third Asian rider’s classification win in LTDL.

The arrival of the 25-year-old Sulzberger is a timely boost for the squad’s aspirations as he will be lining up as a key pacer in the team’s challenge in bunch sprints on the flat stages, where they require a strong team to put their sprinter in the best position to deliver the stage win.

“At first we were undecided mainly because we had to consider the tight budget that we will be working with this year. But we were assured of a helping hand by the good Peter Thompson of Meritus Racing, who sincerely offered us support and advise to move forward,” said Shukor Yassin, the team manager of LeTua cycling team.

“Bernard is a rider with experience of racing in Europe and at the top level of world cycling. He is probably the missing link we require to give the best European sprinters a run for their money.

“And we know that Malaysia has been waiting for a stage win in LTDL for some years no and we aim to be the ones to deliver this dream.”

With Anuar in the line-up, LeTua are gearing everything to deliver the historic first ever stage win in LTDL by a Malaysian rider.

In all 12 previous editions of Asia’s biggest race, this is something no Malaysian rider had ever achieved.
LTdL 2008 begins on February 9 (Saturday) with a stage from Alor Star, Kedah to Kepala Batas in Penang, seat of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The stage covers 182.6 kilometres.

The race’s nine stages cover a total distance of 1,377 kilometres, running through 10 states in Peninsula Malaysia. For the first time this year, Fraser’s Hill has replaced Genting Highlands as the main climbing stage of the race.

Le Tour de Langkawi maintains its status as one of only two hors-category races in Asia, and the biggest annual cycling event in the continent.

LETUA CYCLING TEAM: Anuar Manan, Ahmad Haidar Anuawar, Sayuti Zahit (Mas); Rian Ariehaan, Tonton Susanto (Ina); Bernard Sulzberger (Aust).

Team manager: Shukor Yassin

Coach: Johari Nayan.


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