Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 - Le Tua Team
Malaysia's top continental team Le Tua aims to make an impression at this years
edition of the tour. Veteran and legend Tonton Susanto leads team fresh off win
at the Jelajah Malasia race.
KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's first and most successful UCI Continental team Le
Tua will be making their second appearance in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) with an
eye on making a bigger impact than they did a year ago.
Starting Asia's biggest cycling event from February 9 to 17 will be a team
that comes fresh from a highly successful campaign in the Jelajah Malaysia,
which saw their veteran Indonesian climber Tonton Susanto win the overall
individual title, while sprinter Anuar Manan took the points classification.
The 35-year old Tonton, who hails from Jakarta, claimed his first ever
overall victory in the Jelajah Malaysia thanks to disciplined overall
performance by his Malaysian team. "With time running out for me, that victory
was a sweet one because after so many years of trying, I finally have an overall
victory to savour," said Tonton, who two weeks prior to Jelajah Malaysia had
finished second overall in the Tour of Thailand behind Iran's Ahad Kazemi Sarai.
"We have a strong team which worked really well together so we hope to keep
it all together for LTdL. Obviously, LTdL is a different level of cycling, but
if we keep our discipline and be a bit brave, we can deliver some good results."
Tonton will be Le Tua's best bet for a shot at the Asian riders' jersey in
LTdL, being among the top Asian climbers in the field this time around. In the
Jelajah Malaysia young sprinter Anuar made headlines with a record three stage
wins as the Le Tua team controlled proceedings dominantly despite a field that
included some of the biggest names in Asian cycling. Anuar had also secured his
second successive overall points classification win in Jelajah Malaysia, which
confirmed his status as one of Asia's top young sprinters.
In his sprinters train he has the seasoned former national rider Sayuti Zahit,
Ahmad Haidar Anuawar and Nor Rizuan Zainal, along with Sea Games gold medallist
Rian Ariehaan of Indonesia.
"We have a stronger team than we had last year with Sayuti the key addition.
On top of that, our experience in LTdL last year gave us some knowledge of what
we have to do to achieve results in a big race like this," said Anuar, who is
21-years old and hails from Kuala Ibai in the East Coast state of Terengganu.
"The problem we had when lining up for the sprint finishes last year was
getting to the front. We really were outclassed by the stronger European teams
then. But now we know better and we can try to match them."
Even so, it wasn't entirely a dismal showing by Le Tua in last year's LTdL as
in all 12 years of the race's history prior to that, there had been just two
fifth placed finished in stages registered - first by Nor Effandy Rosli in 2000
and then Suhardi Hassan in 2005. Last year, Ahmad Haidar registered two fifth
Le Tua 2008 le Tour de Langkawi Squad (provisional)
Tonton Susanto (Ina)
Anuar Manan (Mas)
Ahmad Haidar Anuawar (Mas)
Sayuti Zahit (Mas)
Rian Ariehaan (Ina)
Nor Rizuan Zainal (Mas)
Reserves: Amin Saryana (Ina) and Azrul Hafidz Awang (Mas)
Team manager: Shukor Yassin
Coach: Johari Nayan.
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