Selangor Journal
Riders in the peloton during the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) Malaysia 2022 first stage race of 157.3 kilometres from Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, to Kuala Lumpur, on October 11, 2022. — Picture by BERNAMA

National Sports Council assured of sufficient sponsorship for LTdL 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — The National Sports Council (NSC), in their capacity as organisers of the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2023, have confirmed receiving assurances that there is sufficient sponsorship to ensure the September 23 to September 30 race can be run smoothly.

NSC director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail said the council had already received confirmation from 22 teams, including two World Tour outfits, for the pro series race.

“We hope this announcement can put to rest any doubts about the status of the LTdL this time, which had been raised following the less than encouraging response from race sponsors,” he told a media conference earlier today.

National Sports Council (MSN) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail. — Picture by BERNAMA

It is understood the state government and conglomerates are among those set to be announced soon as sponsors of LTdL’s 27th edition, after the Youth and Sports Ministry set aside an allocation of RM8 million.

The organisation of the LTdL 2023 was previously embroiled in controversy when the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) omitted the race from their calendar following the issue of debts owed by the previous organiser, but was resolved and has been included in the world cycling calendar.

Elaborating, Ahmad Shapawi said all preparations are up and running, especially in ensuring the terms and conditions stipulated by the UCI, such as providing logistical facilities, transport and accommodation for the teams, are fulfilled.

“The NSC, in the final process, concluded an agreement with international and local broadcasters to ensure the LTdL this time is shown live in a minimum of 10 countries as stipulated by the UCI. We will also hold several side events, including planting 2,023 trees throughout the race route.

“The NSC is committed to ensuring all issues and problems which crop up will be properly addressed, for example, booking flight tickets for every team in a transparent manner and settling the appearance fees as quickly as possible,” he said.

Although the UCI stipulated that a minimum of three World Tour teams were needed for any pro series race, the world body will evaluate based on a three-year average.

As such, Ahmad Shapawi said he would try to get more world tour teams for the coming editions so that the LTdL will not lose its status as one of the world’s most prestigious cycling races.

World-renowned teams like Astana Qazaqstan and EF Education-Easypost of the United States, who are led by their two main riders — Simon Carr and Jefferson Cepeda Oritz, are the two World Tour teams competing this time.

The two teams can expect a stern test from the eight UCI Pro status teams and 11 continental outfits, including the Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), while the Malaysian national side will also be joining the fray.

— Bernama

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