Archive for December, 2008

20 teams for the 2009 Le Tour de Langkawi

Kuala Lumpur
– The 2009 Le Tour de Langkawi will feature 20 teams from February 9 to 15, starting in Putrajaya, the home of Malaysian government, and finishing in the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur with the traditional criterium at Dataran Merdeka.


“The selection of the teams has been the hardest ever”, said the Chief Operating Officer Datuk Naim Mohamad. “We have received almost 50 bids from different teams from all over the world. It means the 7 days race format suits more teams than before. With a more compact field, we expect an even more challenging race.” As usual, the five continents will be competing in Malaysia for Asia’s biggest stage race.

“As we are aware of the importance of the Hors-Category status of our event, we have composed a balanced field with the priority being given to most competitive teams from Europe and America”, Naim added. “Although we are geographically far from the heart of cycling in Europe, we believe in the anti-doping policy put together by the UCI, the professional teams and the race organisers. We support the initiative of the biological passport. Therefore we have selected nine teams that adhere to the biological passport program and are eligible for the Grand Tours.”

Among these nine teams, four come from the Pro Tour circuit: Garmin-Chipotle from the USA, Ag2r and Bouygues Telecom from France, as well as Fuji-Servetto from Spain. The five Pro Continental teams are Diquigiovanni (Venezuela), CSF (Ireland), Vorarlberg-Corratec (Austria), ISD (Italy) and the Swiss-based Cervélo Test Team of Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre.

“We are very happy to welcome newly born and extremely promising teams like Cervélo and ISD”, Naim continued. “Two years ago we were the first organisers to invite Slipstream to a H.C. event because we thought this team had a fantastic future and we are delighted to see them coming back as Garmin-Chipotle with the prestige of being now one of the world’s most competitive teams for the Tour de France and the big classics.”

Oceania and Africa will be represented in Malaysia by the Australian and South African national teams respectively. “Le Tour de Langkawi being organised by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF), we also believe in the good work done by some national federations in developing cycling”, Naim said. Other national teams from Asia will be: Malaysia, China, Iran and Kazakhstan while Asian continental teams will complete the line up: MCF and LeTua from Malaysia, Meitan-GDR from Japan, Seoul Cycling from Korea and the Doha Team from Qatar for which it will be a first appearance at Le Tour de Langkawi.

By mid-January, each team’s line up is expected to be known.

The 20 participating teams: Garmin-Chipotle, Ag2r, Bouygues Telecom, Fuji-Servetto, Diquigiovanni, CSF, Vorarlberg-Corratec, ISD, Cervélo, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, MCF, LeTua, Meitan-GDR, Seoul Cyling, Doha Team.

2003 Tour de France sprint champion Baden Cooke will lead the UniSA-Australia team at next month’s Tour Down Under.

Mike Turtur, Tour Down Under Race Director, has announced the UniSA-Australia team roster, which includes Australian cycling champions Baden Cooke, Aaron Kemps and Scott Davis.

“It will be great to have Baden back on the race, as he always performs well,”said Turtur. “Baden is yet another successful Tour de France rider to be racing in Adelaide in 2009.”

South Australia’s Jack Bobridge will make his Tour Down Under debut in January.

Bobridge was the 2007 Australian Junior Male Road Cyclist of the Year and in 2008 represented Australia at the Beijing Olympic Games and the World Track Championships. He recently dominated in the pursuit at the Melbourne round of the UCI Track World Cup and is tipped as one of Australia’s future stars.

“The UniSA-Australia team is a mix of international experience and some ofthe youngest and brightest cycling talent in this country,” said Turtur.

CEO of Cycling Australia, Graham Fredericks, said, “The Tour Down Under provides an unique opportunity for some of our talented young Australian riders to team with established champions in a ProTour race with the world’s best road riders.”

The University of South Australia has been a sponsor of the Tour Down Under since 2001.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said one of the most rewarding aspects of the Tour Down Under sponsorship was supporting talented Australian riders to take part in an event of international status.

“As a university we are in the business of providing educational opportunities that develop excellence,” said Høj. “Our support of the Tour Down Under extends that notion to sports and also encourages the wider community to engage with what is an inspiring and health promoting event. I wish all the young athletes in Team UniSA-Australia the very best of luck at the Tour.”

UniSA-Australia team:

  • Baden Cooke (VIC)
  • AaronKemps (QLD)
  • Scott Davis (QLD)
  • Travis Meyer (WA)
  • Jack Bobridge (SA)
  • Simon Clarke (VIC)
  • Team Manager Dave Sanders (AUS)

The seventh rider of the UniSA–Australia team will be selected after the 2009 Australian Open Road Championships (7 – 11 January 2009 in Victoria).

Two more European teams, Quick Step (BEL) and Team Milram (GER), have confirmed their place on the start list of the 2009 Tour Down Under.

Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, announced today that Quick Step’s lead rider for the event is Australia’s Allan Davis.

“Allan is the only rider to compete at all 11 Tour Down Under events (1999 –2009). It will be great to see him back at the race in Adelaide in January,”said Turtur.

Davis finished first on Stage 3 of the 2008 Tour Down Under, taking his Tour Down Under achievements to three stage wins.

“Allan Davis has twice finished second overall at the Tour Down Under, in 2005 and 2008, so 2009 may be his year”, said Turtur. Davis will be joined by Matteo Tosatto, a Tour de France stage winner.

Team Milram will return to the race, led by rider Christian Knees who won the 2008 Tour of Bavaria (Bayern Rundfahrt).

“Knees has had a strong season, finishing 29th overall at the Tour de France,” said Turtur.

Milram’s Martin Muller finished first in the Mountains Classification in the 2005 Tour of Denmark, making him one to watch fight for points for the Skoda King of the Mountain jersey.

Quick Step:

  • Allan Davis (AUS)
  • Matteo Tosatto (ITA)
  • Dries Devenyns (BEL)
  • Davide Malacarne (ITA)
  • Francesco Reda (ITA)
  • Hubert Schwab (SUI)
  • Kurt Hovelijnck (BEL)
  • Team Manager Rik Van Slycke (BEL)

Team Milram

  • Christian Knees (GER)
  • Luca Barla (ITA)
  • Martin Muller (GER)
  • Markus Eichler (GER)
  • Willem Stroetinga (NED)
  • Thomas Rohregger (AUT)
  • Ronny Scholz (GER)
  • Team Manager Vittorio Algeri (ITA)

A strong and competitive Team Saxo Bank, led by South Australia’s Stuart O’Grady, will take to the start line at the 2009 Tour Down Under.

Race Director Mike Turtur highlighted that Stuart O’Grady is the only rider in the Tour Down Under’s history to have won the event twice.

“Stuart O’Grady won the inaugural Tour Down Under in 1999 and again in 2001,” said Turtur. “Stuart has had the taste of victory here twice before and I know he will hit the race hard, looking to add a third title.

“It is always great to see Australian cycling champions competing in a UCI ProTour event on home soil.”

Stuart O’Grady, who had a strong 2008 season after recovering from a series of serious injuries, will be joined by fellow Australian rider Matthew Goss and Gernam Jens Voigt.

“Matthew has had an outstanding start to his cycling career since turning professional in 2006,” said Turtur. “Germany’s Jens Voigt will also be a powerful support to O’Grady, having taken out a stage win in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

“Voigt has the propensity to attack the race and has an extremely positive attitude to cycling.”

Frank Hoj will make his return to Team Saxo Bank at the 2009 Tour Down Under. He was previously a member of the Danish team in 2004.

Team Saxo Bank:

  • Stuart O’Grady (AUS)
  • Jens Voigt (GER)
  • Nicki Sorensen (DEN)
  • Kasper Klostergaard (DEN)
  • Matthew Goss (AUS)
  • Frank Hoj (DEN)
  • Anders Lund (DEN)
  • Team Manager Kim Andersen (DEN)

A BIG thank you to all our visitors in 2008.

We wish what you wish for the festive period ahead,

May Christmas bring joy to you and yours and may the New Year be prosperous and healthy.

Jefrey and I aim to bring more coverage of worls happenings in the cycling.

See you all in 2009.

11th DEC 2008, PUTRAJAYA: The organizing of Le Tour de  Langkawi 2009 (LTdL 2009) from 9th -15th February next year will be the proof that Malaysia is a country that will always be able to organize an international event regardless the fact that the world is facing the globalization credit crunch.

Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 route

Le Tour de Langkawi 2009 route

Executive Chairman LTdL 2009 who is also the President of  Malaysia National Cycling Federation (MNCF), Abu Samah Abu Wahab, said that the elite 14th edition cycling tour will  start from Putrajaya “ the Malaysian Government
administrative centre “ commence by Malaysia National Cycling Federation (MNCF) once again given the trust by
Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) to be the organizer of the event. Continue Reading »

2004 Olympic Champion Sara Carrigan OAM today announced her retirement from professional cycling.
The 28 year old has enjoyed stellar career on the bike representing Australia at eight World Championships, two Commonwealth Games and two Olympic Games. In Athens she claimed gold in the road race and at the 2006 Commonwealth Games she placed third in the time trial.
Carrigan has twice been the Australian Champion in the road time trial and, apart from 2007 when she took a break from racing, has been on the podium every year since 2001 including this year when she placed second in the time trial and third in the road race. She also amassed a host of victories in international races around the world.
“I am excited about my new adventures but it is sad and emotional for me to let go and say good bye to what has been half my life,” Carrigan said. “I’d like to thank everyone for their support, they have helped make me who I am today.
“The thought of life as a ‘non-full time’ athlete is overwhelming but also exciting,” she admitted. “It is hard to leave something that I love so much, that has allowed me to achieve one of my life dreams but I am an ‘all-or-nothing’ person.
“I’m in it to be the best and if I feel I don’t have that kind of focus or commitment to win and conquer all, it is the right time for me to walk away,” she explained. “I am open to the possibility of competing in future competitions but my full time competitiveness is now over.
“I have enjoyed a rather quiet time since returning home from Beijing,” said the Queenslander. “I’ve been able to relax and breathe again after the very intense period of pre-Games focus.
“I have also been dealing the feelings you have post-Games but I had the experience of dealing with these emotions and sensations when Athens came and went,” she said. ” But it’s been amplified this time round with thoughts of retirement.”

Carrigan will now focus on completing her Bachelor of Business degree (majoring in Property and Development) at Griffith University.

“I have discovered an enthusiasm and a passion for the property industry so I will move forward with that,” she said. “But I will also continue to speak at schools as part of the Gold Medal Messages Program and perhaps start a ‘riding school’ to teach both young and new riders the rules of the road and technical aspects of riding a bike.”

Nicholas Roche and Philip Deignan look odds on to be squaring up to each other in next year’s Tour de France. But they’ll be on opposing teams and will be endeavouring for success with AG2r for Nicholas whilst Philip’s team Cerevelo will have as their leader Carlos Sastre the defending champion.
But as of now the big talk and chat is all about  seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, who announced his comeback to cycling after a three-year hiatus earlier this year, and Alberto Contador, who has won all three of the sport’s major Tours. They will take part in an 8-day training session on the island of Tenerife for their team Astana this coming week with their eyes on the big picture come July.
But spare a thought for the Australian Cadel Evans who has admitted that his chances of winning the 2009 Tour de France have taken a hit because of the return of Lance and the strength of the Astana team.
You just have to check the press cuttings and see that Evans was isolated and worked over by the CSC team this year and he clearly fears a similar scenario next year with th  Astana team.
Speaking to the local press during a holiday at home in Australia, Evans admitted Astana was stronger than ever, whilst his team Silence-Lotto was clearly weaker.
“I think Lance’s return brought also with it quite a bit of budget to buy some good team-mates.”
“He has the resources and the capacity to put together a really good team and that’s what he’s done, which of course for us is hard to beat. Astana are far more well resourced than our team is.”
“During his years in the peloton, Armstrong was special. That was sort of the main thing and probably the most difficult thing to overcome racing against (Armstrong). He had the best team in the hundred-year history of the Tour de France,” said Evans who was the odds on favourite to win the tour, but the satchels belonging to the bookies were a lot heavier than expected when the Spaniard Sastre literally cruised home to victory in Paris in July.
The Ayustralian recently re-signed with Silence-Lotto for another two years, on the understanding that the team would be strengthened. Despite the arrival of Charle Wegelius a former Irish junior tour competitor, who has the where all to be able to help Evans in the mountains and on the climbs.
“It’s not going real good at the moment said the Aussie , perhaps already accepting it will be hard to beat Astana in the 2009 Tour de France.
But Roche and Deignan for the moment are quiet contented that they’ll be on the start line in the longer-than-usual 15km opening time trial around the streets of the millionaires’ paradise of Monte Carlo come July of next year.