THIS year’s Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) participants need not worry about payment of prize money as the organisers will be using the recently-introduced UCI Cycling Prize Management System (UCPMS).
“The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) have developed a new system to solve the issue (of unpaid prize money) and I believe this new system will assure that no such problems will recur,” said Human Voyage Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Shahaizereen A. Hamid.
Human Voyage are organisers of the Feb 7-14 LTdL.
“This is the first time we’ll be using this system. We will have to register via the Malaysia National Cycling Federation (MNCF).
“The prize money will then be given to UCI to hold on to. They will then disburse it to the winners using this system,” he added after the LTdL main working committee meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.
Cases of unpaid prize money to teams and payments to contractors have often dogged road racing tours in Malaysia.
The LTdL has changed from the now defunct UCI 2.HC to the new ProSeries status this year.
A ProSeries tour must feature at least six world tour status teams and have strong television viewership.
Shahaizereen is confident the LTdL will meet both requirements.
“We have actually approached all the world tour teams and response has been positive so far,” said Shahaizereen.
“Some of them (world tour teams) have not been here for a long time and are looking forward to coming back.
“But we still have to iron out a few details. We will announce the final list of teams within two weeks, if possible earlier.
“As for television, we have secured a deal with Eurosport as well as another broadcaster from China. This will roughly give us a viewership of 60 million globally, which is enough to meet the ProSeries tour requirement.
“The start and finish of each stage will also be shown on our social media platforms.”
For the first time since 1997, the LTdL will be racing in East Malaysia this year. It will also feature two new supporting races — the Criterium International on Feb 6 in Kota Kinabalu and a one-day race dubbed the Malaysian Classics in Langkawi on Feb 15.
The eight-stage Silver Jubilee edition will cover a total distance of 1,095.7km across Sarawak, Sabah, Terengganu, Pahang, Federal Territories (Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur) Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah.