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Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 - Le Tua Team
 
By Staff
Date: 1/26/2008
Le Tour de Langkawi 2008 - Le Tua Team
 

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 placed
finishes.

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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