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by Mark Zalewski
February 1, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel takes Dubai Tour opener; Route announcement: Mt. Baldy summit, Big Bear TT to be decisive stages for 2017 Amgen Tour of California; Route details announced for 2017 Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race; No longer backing Contador, Majka stepping up a level in Grand Tours; CyclingTips podcast, Episode 24: Genevieve Jeanson on making peace with a tainted past; Back from the brink: The merger that saved IsoWhey-SwissWellness and the year ahead; Froome ready for Jayco Herald Sun Tour; Twenty teams to race 22nd Tour de Langkawi; Ciolek and Gerdemann retire; Simon Cope vows to clear his name; British Parliamentary group to investigate legal bias against cyclists; Video: Heroics in Bieles; Video: Interview with Christine Majerus; Video: Equipment for cyclocross.
The Tour de Langkawi announced that 20 teams will start the 22nd edition of the race in Malaysia, running from February 22 to March 1. In addition to having financial troubles which forced budget cuts, the race is also having trouble attracting top-level teams, in part due to the expansion of the WorldTour this season.
“With the extension of the WorldTour to 37 events, we’ve faced new challenges in our process of inviting teams but we’re glad to announce that once again, the whole world will be looking at Malaysia during our event,” said chief executive officer Emir Abdul Jalal.
The African Dimension Data team is the only WorldTour squad attending, having won the 2016 race with Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.
It is no surprise that Asia has the biggest representation, but Europe, North and South America are also well represented.
“This year’s novelty is the emphasis on our neighbor country Thailand where cycling is booming,” Emir said. “For the first time they have a UCI-registered team with Thailand Continental Cycling Team, and Singapore’s Infinite AIS has a strong base in Thailand too. With their addition, the Asian teams competition will be contested by more teams than ever. In overall, we have a well balanced field that gives a chance to shine to cyclists from very different horizons.”