KUALA LUMPUR: Nineteen teams have confirmed their participation in the inaugural Tour of Borneo 2012 in Sabah which will be heldfrom April 27 to May 1.
The UCI 2.2 category road race event, sanctioned by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), involves five stages covering a total distance of 758.4 kilometres. The event is also listed in the UCI Asian Tour calendar.
According to Tour of Borneo 2012 Media Department press statement today, among the teams are UCI Asia Tour defending champions Tabriz Petrochemical of Iran.
Providing a stiff challenge to the Iranians will be Australia’s Genesys Pro Cycling featuring Tom Robinson, Kane Walker, Kyle Marwood, Alex Carver, Joel Pearson and Nic Sanderson.
Beside Genesys Pro Cycling, Australia will also be represented by the Plan B Cycling Team.
Not to be discounted is the local challenge led by the Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Armed Forces, the national under-23 team and Sabah.
The other teams at the inaugural event are Polygon Sweet Nice and Putra Perjuangan (Indonesia); 7-Eleven by Roadbike Philippines and LBC Cycling Team (Philippines); CCN Cycling Team (Brunei); OCBC Cycling (Singapore); Pure Black Racing Team (New Zealand); Suren Uzbekistan Team (Uzbekistan) and Kazakhstan’s national team.
The official announcement of teams participating at the Tour of Borneo was made by Sabah’s Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Jahid Jahim at the ministry’s office in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
“I am impressed by the overwhelming response from teams as this is our first year. I believe that we will have a truly competitive line-up, a new history will be made in Sabah, we hope to see our riders do their very best and will be able to be on the podium,” he said.
Also present was Tour of Borneo 2012 organising chairman Datuk Fredie Sua and race officials.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been appointed as the honorary patron of the event while Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman is the honorary national adviser.
The five-stage race will start from Semporna to Tawau (102.8km) on April 27 followed by Tawau-Lahad Datu (146.6km); Lahad Datu-Sandakan (181.8km); Sepilok-Kundasang (214.8km) and Kundasang-Kota Kinabalu (112.4km). — Bernama