Fuji-Servetto on a Seduction Campaign

Kuala Lumpur – Fuji-Servetto will be one of the most interesting teams to watch at Le Tour de Langkawi from February 9 to 15. This is a Pro Tour team that has no time to lose in order to seduce the organisers of the three Grand Tours (France, Italy and Spain). They have rebuilt their squad on the ashes of Saunier-Duval. With new sponsors and their new team manager Alvaro Crespi, they start everything from scratch. “We have to give a good image of our team right from the beginning of the season”, Crespi said, talking from the Tour Down Under in Adelaide where his Australian recruit William Walker launched a solo counter-attack during stage 1.


Transferred from Rabobank, former Australian champion Walker hasn’t waited much to perform this year. In the early January, he already bagged a win at the Jayco Bay Crits in Melbourne. He’s a fast rider but he’ll line up at Le Tour de Langkawi as a lead out man for his compatriot Hilton Clarke. “He’s a pure sprinter and I bet we have a good chance of a stage win with him”, Walker indicated. “As for myself, my goal is to do at least as good as my younger brother who came 3rd in a stage last year.” Johnnie Walker finished in Kuala Rompin just behind José Serpa from Colombia and Alexandre Usov from Ag2r.

“I have never done Le Tour de Langkawi before but I’ve heard a lot about it from all the Australian cyclists who have been to Malaysia and kept found memory of it”, Walker continued. “I like the warm weather, so this race suits me better than the cold in Europe. I hope it will help me get into the best shape for other races later in Europe.”

Apart from their Australian fast men, Fuji-Servetto will count on Juan José Cobo for the overall win. The Spaniard is now recognised as the winner of the queen stage of the Pyrénées in last year’s Tour de France following the disqualification of his team-mate at the time Leonardo Piepoli. A winner of the Pro Tour stage race Tour of the Basque country (plus two stage wins) in 2007, Cobo is a true specialist of the one-week long events. He’s capable of beating the South American climbers in Genting Highlands. “We have another card in our hands with Frederik Kessiakoff”, Crespi revealed. “I have motivated him in particular for this stage and that could be the overall result as well.”

Sweden’s Kessiakoff is new on the road as a pro but he’s a real star in the world of mountain-bike. He was 5th at the world championship last year.

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 Tour is organized by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) with the support of the Malaysian Government via the Ministry of Youth and Sports and sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC).

Fuji-Servetto for Le Tour de Langkawi: Hilton Clarke (Aus), William Walker (Aus), Juan José Cobo (Spa), Arkaitz Duran (Spa), Frederik Kessiakoff (Swe), Davide Vigano (Ita).


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