Jeremy Yates Reinforces LeTua for Le Tour de Langkawi 2009

Kuala Lumpur – The Malaysian continental team LeTua has managed a superb coup on the international cycling scene by signing Jeremy Yates from New Zealand prior to lining up at Le Tour de Langkawi from February 9 to 15.

A junior world champion crowned in Plouay, France, back in 2000, Yates finished 4th overall last year with his national team and he was determined to take part in the Malaysian race again despite having moved temporarily from professional cycling to a job as a builder. “I found my first LTdL last year to be an amazing experience”, he said. “The people stand out in my mind as being the most memorable part of it. They were always smiling, friendly and polite.”

On Friday he sent an sms to LeTua’s team manager Shukor Yassin: “I am ready. The form is good after the Tour of Wellington.”

Yates was placed 3rd on stage 3 and 5th on GC in the 2.2 Tour of Wellington in New Zealand last week. “I have been racing well in my country, winning various one day races and tours recently”, he said. “My last race overseas was the Herald Sun Tour in October in Australia where I placed 4th on stage 4 and 7th on GC.”

“At Le Tour de Langkawi, I would like to go for the GC again this year but the team (LeTua) first priority is for a stage win for a Malaysian rider so I hope to contribute to that effort”, a very loyal Yates explained. Prior to signing for the Malaysian outfit, he collected very positive comments from Australia’s Bernhard Sulzberger who came 15th with LeTua at last year’s LTdL.

Yates will keep his Malaysian connection beyond his main goal for the 2009 season. “This year I hope to race in Australia national series and the Herald Sun Tour again. I am leading the NZ national points series and have 10-15 race wins a year domestically. I would like to win Tour of Southland this year (N-Z) and also a stage race in Asian tours racing with LeTua. Next year I hope to return to full time racing with either a French or an American team.”

Le Tour de Langkawi will mark the first step of his campaign to come back on the international cycling scene. Climbing will be LeTua’s strength this year with the return of the Indonesian winner of the 2008 Jelajah Malaysia Tonton Susanto alongside Ng Yong Li whose preparation has been marred by chicken pox. Shall the former European-based rider be forced to withdraw, he might be replaced by the young and promising climber from Singapore Low Ji Wen, 19.

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).

Le Tua for Le Tour de Langkawi (February 9-15): Mohd. Razif Salleh (Mal), Ng Yong Li (Mal), Lim Yew Meng (Mal), Tonton Susanto (Ina), Samai (Ina), Jeremy Yates (N-Z).

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