The country of Malaysia, located in Southeast Asia is an incredible mixing pot of cultures. What makes Malaysia so fascinating is its diversity. In one country, one is able to explore thriving, modern cities, colonial architecture, relax on some of the most beautiful beaches and hike through lush green jungles. What better way than to introduce Malaysia to the world than Asia’s biggest race?
Named after the archipelago Langkawi, where the first edition started and finished. It began in 1996 and is part of the Union Cycliste Internationale Asia Tour. Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Emir Abdul Jalal said the 22nd edition of the LTdL had all the ingredients of a great race that attracted the attention of viewers from all over the world. Le Tour De Langkawi race has also reached vast coverage from foreign media, including Eurosport International with viewership reaching more than 600 million, thus putting Malaysia on the world map.
Le Tour de Langkawi has been a hotbed for launching the careers of top world-class cyclists such as Mark Cavendish before he went on to become a household name in the world of sprinters. Organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia and managed by Ciclista Sports Sdn Bhd, the 22nd edition of Le Tour de Langkawi took place from February 22 to March 1, 2017. The route of the event covered more than 1,200 kms over 8 stages.
For the 22nd edition of Le Tour de Langkawi, BMW Group Malaysia had been appointed as the Official Automotive Partner. It was the German carmaker’s first ever presence in the sport of cycling at the highest level in the region. As the Official Automotive Partner, BMW Group Malaysia provided a fleet of BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad vehicles which had been utilized throughout the competition by Marshalls, Officials as well as special shuttles for the riding teams.
Through Le Tour de Langkawi, this event placed Malaysia as an international cycling destination. Starting in Kuala Berang on the 22nd of February, the race concluded in the administrative capital of Putrajaya March 1 where a new champion of Le Tour de Langkawi was crowned.
22 February 2017, Kuala Berang – Kuala Terengganu
Le Tour de Langkawi kicked off with IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness’s Scott Sunderland winning the first stage. This was IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness debut appearance in Le Tour de Langkawi. The 114-rider strong peloton traversed throughout a distance of 124.8km from Kuala Berang to Kuala Terengganu in Terengganu.
23 February 2017, Jerteh – Gerik
This stage was also the longest in Le Tour de Langkawi covering a span of 208.1km from Jerteh to Gerik. American outfit Unitedhealthcare hopped on the winning stage with Travis McCabe. The long and eventful day of racing began with a crash involving Pozzato and taking Terengganu’s Harrif Saleh out of the race.
24 February 2017, Serdang – Pantai Remis
Stage 3 of the Le Tour de Langkawi saw the peloton in the hottest condition of this year’s race as they rolled out of Serdang. Jakub “Kuba” Mareczko avenged for his partner Filippo Pozzato as he dominated the peloton in stage 3. The Wilier Triestina rider was extremely grateful to his teammates Filippo Pozzato and Rafael Andriato in helping him to launch his winning sprint. In the 3rd stage of the Le Tour de Langkawi tour, participants cycled from Serdang to Pantai Remis.
25 February 2017, Seri Manjung – Cameron Highlands
With five kilometers to the finish line, the attacks started to come thick and fast from the UnitedHealthcare- and Dimension Data-led bunch. Celebrations for team Dimension Data as Eritrea’s Mekseb Debesay came first atop the mythical Cameron Highlands, beating Australia’s Cameron Bayly by the length of a bike. The tranquil peloton rode off from Seri Manjung to Cameron Highlands covering a distance of 174.4km.
26 February 2017, Meru Raya – Kuala Kubu Bharu
Dimension Data’s Ryan Gibbons clenched his first pro victory at the Le Tour de Langkawi in Stage 7 of the 22nd edition of the event. He outsprinted Stage 3 winner Jakub Mareczko and Stage 2 winner Travis McCabe. The fifth stage covered a distance of 151.5km from Meru Raya to Kuala Kubu Bharu.
27 February 2017, Senawang – Muar
For the 6th stage, the 2017 Le Tour de Langkawi welcomed a brand new winner at the finish line. It was Italy’s Enrico Barbin from Bardiani CSF who celebrated his first professional victory ahead of Anthony Giacoppo (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) and Filippo Pozzato (Wilier Trestina). Senawang welcomed the stage 6 start of the race with a light drizzle that became a heavy shower. For Stage 6, the peloton cycled 176.3km from Senawang to Muar.
28 February 2017, Melaka – Rembau
Italy’s Jakub Mareczko of Wilier Triestina became the first rider to win two stages at this year’s Le Tour de Langkawi as claimed stage 7 to Rembau. His first win was during Stage 3 when he cycled from Serdang to Pantai Remis. This had placed him as the first rider to win two stages in this year’s Le Tour de Langkawi. Mareczko held off Travis McCabe from the UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling Team off his second win. The second last stage of the race covered 148.1km distance from the historical city of Melaka to Rembau.
1 March 2017 – Setiawangsa – Putrajaya
It was the calm before the storm as the remaining riders in the race rolled out of Setiawangsa to get the 8th and final stage of the Tour de Langkawi underway. It was UnitedHealthcare and Dimension Data controlling the race with the two teams boasting the fastest finishers. The final day 121km stage was won by Travis McCabe from the UnitedHealthcare with Anthony Giacoppo in second place and Nippo-Vini Fantini’s Riccardo Stacchiotti third.