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by Mark Zalewski
December 23, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: UCI announces reformed points system for 2017 and beyond, will reward more riders in events; Former world champion Petra de Bruin speaks out about years of sexual abuse during her cycling career; UCI approves suspended Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour team’s ProContinental license; Former British Cycling coach posts about Brailsford controversy; David Walsh challenged over Team Sky defence; Tour de Langkawi reveals 2017 route despite economic troubles; Thomas De Gendt helps with Tom Simpson memorial; LottoNL-Jumbo presents 2017 team, goals; University to offer student mechanic scholarships; ‘Richmond 24’ short documentary; Team Sky holiday video; Santa gets own cyclocross category.
Economic difficulties have forced organisers of the Tour de Langkawi to do a lot of belt-tightening in order to put on the 2017 edition of the race, but said the level of racing will remain worthy of its UCI Hors Categorie rating.
“It will be a very challenging year in 2017, because the Ministry of Youth and Sports will be focused on the organisation of the Sea Games, which Malaysia is hosting,” said Malaysia’s youth and sports Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin. “The ministry has had to cancel, postpone or reduce the budgets of other sporting events due to the focus and priority in terms of finances given to the Sea Games, but seeing the popularity of LTdL and its importance as a sports tourism event for the nation, we decided it has to continue, even with a reduced budget.”
The racing runs from 22 February to 1 March and in the most apparent cost-cutting move, will not have any stages on the actualy island of Langkawi, instead remaining entirely on mainland Malaysia.
Stage four will return as queen stage of the race and feature the Cameron Highlands.
“This may be the toughest year ever for us to organise, given the current economic situation and the limited budget, but we will endeavour to deliver an equally exciting race for the fans and spectators,” said the event’s CEO Emir Abdul Jalal. “Of course, budget cuts are budget cuts. It means we will not be able to put on a lavish race with too many luxuries. But the standards of organisation and the quality of racing will be maintained,” said Emir.