CYCLING / LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI: A show of money may add a spin
ONLY a case of private companies coming up with their own sources of funds could affect the Sports Ministry's view of handing over the organisation of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) to them.
And the final decision, said Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, would be in the hands of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF).
Ahmad Shabery said the 18th edition of the race, which concluded in Kuala Terengganu yesterday, showed the LTdL was on the right track under the joint organisation of the MNCF, National Sports Council and the Sports Ministry.
"We have seen a good edition of the race, which had attracted some of the top teams in cycling with five UCI Pro Teams and more big names than ever before.
"The race was also run smoothly, without incidents. Even with some extreme weather conditions, the race was not disrupted," said Ahmad Shabery.
"We've also seen improvement in many areas, such as more global television coverage and more importantly, we have received very positive feedback from the commissaires on duty.
"We have already been recognised by the International Cycling Union (UCI) with three awards for excellence in organisation and as the best in the world for race security.
"So, yes, we have received a request from one company to take over the organisation of the race together with their proposal, but we will have to evaluate whether this would be a right move at this moment."
The race has this year seen positive improvement in corporate sponsorship which made up 50 per cent of the RM15 million budget, but is still significantly funded by the ministry.
"If the company (Human Voyage Sdn Berhad) could guarantee their own funding, then we would consider it. But again, the final decision is with the MNCF because they hold the rights to the race."
MNCF president Datuk Abu Samah Wahab had stated on Friday the federation's stand on the matter. The MNCF is against the transfer of the Tour's organisation.