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9th Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi - 2.2

Malaysia, February 6-15, 2004

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News for February 5, 2004

TMLTdL Team Presentation: Let the games begin

By Anthony Tan in Penang

At 5:00pm Malaysian time this evening, the official teams' presentation to mark the official opening of the ninth edition of Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi got underway.

Held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Equatorial, a 10 storey, 668-room monster situated on the island of Penang, a stone's throw away from the mainland on the northwest coast of Malaysia, the presentation was prefaced by a plethora of traditional Malay dancing and singing and, as always, yet another course of food for onlookers.

Once the festivities ended and stomachs were satisfied, it was time for the twenty teams of seven riders to present themselves to the public and media. National teams comprise half the 140-strong peloton, with the Canadian and South African contingent looking the strongest - watch out for dual world MTB champion, last year's King of the Mountains winner and fourth-placed overall, Roland Green, to strike when the road veers skywards on Stages 2 and 9.

A interesting mixture of Division I, II and III teams form the rest of the field of 70-odd riders. In the sprints classification, count on Lampre, Panaria-Margres, Chocolade Jacques-Wincor-Nixdorf, Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave and Team Health Net to be extremely active on the fast, flat stages of which there are eight - names including Luciano Pagliariani, Graeme Brown, Jan Koerts, Ivan Quaranta and Gordon Fraser come to mind.

For those riders more suited to and concerned with taking overall honours in the TMLTdL - along with the lion's share of the RM 1.6 million total prizemoney up for grabs - watch for Colombia Selle Italia (Freddy Gonzalez, Ruber Alveiro Marin), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor-Nixdorf (Dave Bruylandts), Panaria-Margres (Fortunato Baliani) and Lampre (Wladimir Belli, Sergio Barbero) to dominate proceedings.

Overall, this year's Tour de Langkawi looks to be more exciting than ever. Seven flat stages, an 18 kilometre time trial thrown in halfway through the race and the traditional queen stage to the Genting Highlands, a total of 1250.9 kilometres, promises a intriguing week and a half's racing, and one could well see the race on a knife's edge right through to the final day in Kuala Lumpur on February 16.


First off: Colombia Selle Italia
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
De-Nardi comes to the stage
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
The Canadian team
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
The team from Japan
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
The team from Iran
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Relax Bodysol
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
With so much green, it can only be...
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
China: keeping the Asian influence real
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Team Health Net presented by Maxxis
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
The Indonesian national team
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
The South African national team
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Dutch squad Bert Story-Piels
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
The team from Philippines
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
The Malaysian national team
Photo ©: Mark Gunter

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