Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 – Calm before storm as teams prepare for intriguing LTdL 2008

Source: TDL Website

KUALA LUMPUR (8 Feb, 2008) – It is the calm before the storm. On the eve of each Le Tour de Langkawi, the team presentation ceremony is held with all the riders being introduced in their full kits. But behind all the pleasantries and smiles at the presentation, was the tension and anticipation ahead of the race tomorrow.

For the first time in the history of the LTdL, and this is due to this year’s route, there is a strong possibility that a sprinter could be crowned the overall champion of Asia’s biggest road race. In the past, it was always the climbers who prevailed.

But the most exciting fact of all is that for the very first time, there is a chance a Malaysian rider could actually win a stage. Pedalling on the fringes of creating history is local sprinter Anuar Manan, who is currently in peak condition.

The expectations of the foreign riders can be summed up through Danilo Hondo’s evaluation of the 13th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi which begins tomorrow in Alor Star.

“Being the fastest does not necessarily mean that you can win races,” said the Serramenti PVC rider who was runners up in Milan-Sanremo in 2005.

“It is the ability to make good judgment and to do the right thing at the right time which will make the difference. And cycling is a process, not only about sitting on a bike for the conditioning.”

If there’s anything which can be expected at all from this year’s race, it would be the showdown between Hondo and Alberto Loddo – the winner of five stage wins in Le Tour de Langkawi 2007.

And Loddo, who now rides for Tinkoff Credit Systems from the previous Serremanti squad, has maintained a sense of quiet confidence ahead of the race tomorrow after having recently came off from a stage win in Tour of Qatar.

“I’m in good condition after winning a stage in Qatar,” added Loddo.

“But there are more sprinters this year and I believe that it will be more competitive for sure.”

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