5 years ago by Tom Soladay

Race Preview: Tour de Langkawi

Sprinter showcase in Malaysia

The 23rd edition of the Tour de Langkawi starts this Sunday in the town of Kangar, a stones throw from the Thailand border. Taking place March 18 – 25, the 1,400 kilometer eight stage race is a sprinters paradise, with all but one stage expected to end in a furious dash to the line. Circumnavigating the entire Malaysian peninsula will give the riders plenty of time to adapt to the extremely hot and humid climate rarely seen anywhere else in the cycling world.

With no shortage of flat finishes to choose from, a roster filled with raw power will be needed for success. Rally Cycling will start Matteo Dal-Cin, Adam de Vos, Brad Huff, Kyle Murphy, Danny Pate, and Eric Young.

“When selecting a roster we also look at the big picture and what would be the best possible program for each athlete over the long haul,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “We will bring two of our best sprinters and they should expect numerous opportunities for an early season victory.”

Originally founded to put Malaysia on the world sporting and tourism map, the Tour de Langkawi has become the premier Asian destination for the world’s top sprint teams. Rally Cycling is bringing a roster well suited to the race and the demanding season ahead.

“A few guys will be going for a GC result,” said Carney. “Those guys will be Adam de Vos, Matteo Dal-Cin, and Kyle Murphy. If the queen stage isn’t hard enough to decide the general classification, we will chase time bonuses out on the road.”

The races queen stage will be the 169 km fifth stage to Cameron Highlands and finishes with an undulating five kilometer climb. Depending on wind conditions and tactics within the peloton, the overall victory could be decided on its lower slopes.

After sprint success in both the Middle East and Europe this season – top tens stage finishes in Dubai Tour and Vuelta a Andalucia – sprinters Brad Huff and Eric Young will rely heavily on the entire team lead by road captain, Danny Pate.

“Nearly every rider has spent time handling a position in our leadout train and I feel very confident in the entire team to help us continue building momentum in 2018,” said Brad Huff. “I have a lot of experience in these Asian stage races and feel we will be able to capitalize on the aggressive racing which suits our roster quite well.”

The team will lineup against numerous WorldTour teams including two time defending champions from South Africa, Team Dimension Data.

Tour de Langkawi Roster
Matteo Dal-Cin
Adam de Vos
Brad Huff
Kyle Murphy
Danny Pate
Eric Young

Director: Eric Wohlberg

For live updates on Langkawi, follow the team on Twitter.