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PUTRAJAYA: Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek hopes more sponsors would come forward to provide financial support for the 2013 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from Feb 21 to March 2.
Ahmad Shabery said though the event received an allocation of RM14 million from the government, it was not enough to stage the prestigious event.
"We are hoping that more sponsors will come forward and seize the opportunity to be a part of the event because the returns are very good.
"By being a part of the event, sponsors will receive wide publicity when the race is telecast to a worldwide audience," he told reporters here today when launching the LTDL 2013 "The Heat Is On" campaign.
Ahmad Shabery said sponsorship for the previous LTDL amounted to RM7.3 million, mainly in cash and in kind.
He added that the race received wide coverage from international media and tv stations while the LTdL website received more than 2.5 million hits.
"Attendance at starting and finish lines had also increased from 800,000 in 2011 to almost a million in 2012," he said.
Meanwhile, the tour will return to its original home, Langkawi, for the 2013 edition where a pre-race will be held before the first stage starts in Kangar, Perlis on Feb 21.
The 2.1 Hors Classe tour is expected to see participation from 20 world class teams, including teams from France and the United States.
He added that throughout the International Cycling Union (UCI) sanctioned 10-stage tour, there would be three Hors Classe climb zones.
Le Tour De Langkawi 2013
Stage 1 (Feb 21) - Kangar to Kulim (162.7km)
Stage 2 (Feb 22) - Serdang to Kuala Kangsar (116.0km)
Stage 3 (Feb 23) - Sungai Siput to Cameron Highlands (145.5km)
Stage 4 (Feb 24) - Tapah to Kapar (168.0km)
Stage 5 (Feb 25) - Shah Alam to Genting (108.0km)
Stage 6 (Feb 26) - Mentakab to Kuantan (212.8km)
Stage 7 (Feb 27) - Kuantan to Dungun (149.8km)
Stage 8 (Feb 28) - Kuala Terengganu to Tanah Merah (164.5km)
Stage 9 (March 1)- Pasir Puteh to Kuala Berang (123.6km)
Stage 10(March 2)- Tasik Kenyir to Kuala Terangganu (114.8km)
Overall distance: 1465.6km