The Tour de Langkawi takes place from 7 – 14 February this year and NTT Pro Cycling are excited to the return to the UCI 2.Pro event which we won for 3 years in succession, from 2015-2017.
NTT Pro Cycling will be sending a motivated team to Malaysia, spearheaded by new recruit Max Walscheid & our South African climber Louis Meintjes. Joining them will be our neo pro duo of Samuele Battistella and Dylan Sunderland, who both just made their World Tour debut’s at the recent Tour Down Under.
Completing our team will be our Japanese national champion, Shotaro Iribe, and Michael Carbel, both also new recruits to NTT Pro Cycling in 2020. While we also have the Tour de Langkawi defending champion in our ranks, Benjamin Dyball unfortunately misses out this year due to illness.
While the Tour de Langkawi will be the feature race on our Malaysian campaign, NTT Pro Cycling will also compete at the International Criterium in Kota Kinabalu (6 Feb) and the UCI 1.1 Malaysian Classic Race (15 Feb) which bookend the Malaysian tour.
As always, a number of exciting mass sprint finishes will be expected in Malaysia with the criterium, stages 1, 2, 5, 7, 8 of TdL and the Malaysian Classic Race all suiting the fast men.
The climbers will have their chance though, as a category 1 climb coming late on in stage 3 should see a reduced group arrive at the line. It’s then onto stage 4, and the famous Genting Highlands will host an summit finish which should be the defining stage for the overall classification.
It was a tiring travel to get to Langkawi but we have had two days now to get used to the rhythm and the warm weather here. As usual I am super motivated for the race, my first for NTT Pro Cycling. I think the team and this race both gives me a good platform to hopefully start the season successfully. I believe we have a good team here to support me, bringing me to a good position for the sprint and then I went to deliver the best performance possible. I have prepared well over the winter and so I would like to show that.
It will be good to get the 2020 season underway, at the Tour de Langkawi. It has been a couple of years since I last raced here but our team has a decent track record at this race, and we will hope to continue with that this year. The crazy fast sprints in Langkawi should really suit a guy like Max, so we will be supporting him as best we can. Then I’ll also be looking forward to Genting, it is a tough climb, so it will be a good test of how the legs are.