Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will take place in Le Tour de Langkawi — a 10 stage, 1467km stage race from Feb. 21st until March 3rd. There is also a 5 lap, 8.8km circuit race preceding the 10 stages on Feb. 20th. The race has more challenging courses, including three HC climbs, than previous years. There are two summit finishes. The early half of the stage race will likely be the most challenging for the peloton, while the second half will be flat and suitable for the sprinters.
"The most important stages are the 3rd and 5th stages, which will be good for the climbers," said Sports Director Rik Van Slycke. "A climber can be the winner of this race because there is no time trial. We have two climbers —Serge Pauwels and Pieter Serry — riding Tour de Langkawi. Pauwels has been training in Australia with Andy Fenn. We can expect something from him on the climbing stages. Normally, we would also have Gianluca Brambilla, but he is recovering from bronchitis and cannot be at the start. Gianluca will be replaced by Bert Grabsch."
"As for the sprints, we have Andy Fenn," Van Slycke continued. "We will try to put him in the best position possible to play a role in the sprint. Our goals are to put one rider amongst the best of GC, and win at least one of the 10 stages. It's a long race overall, but each stage is not so long. Stage 6 is 212.8km, but the rest will be short and nervous. We will see what we can do to get good results!"