UCI continental outfit, Hengxiang Cycling Team are set to mount a strong challenge at the PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) race on Feb 7-14.
Hengxiang’s participation was announced by LTdL organiser Human Voyage Sdn Bhd yesterday.
The China-based team will feature a number of familiar faces, including the highly-rated Wang Meiyin who has rejoined them after spending the 2017-2019 season with World Tour team Bahrain Merida.
Among the highlights of Meiyin’s first stint at Hengxiang (between 2011-2016) was winning the third stage of LTdL in 2013 from Sungai Siput to Cameron Highlands. He went on to win the mountains classifications jersey and was placed fifth in the general classification at LTdL that year.
Meiyin also won the mountains classification jersey in the 2016 f LTdL before his move to Bahrain Merida.
Human Voyage confirmed that Hengxiang will also be fielding Li Liyu, Lyu Xianjing, Zhang Zheng, Miao Chengshuo, Ma Xinyang as well as Latvian Andris Vosekalns at LTdL.
Xianjing enjoyed a stellar campaign last year, winning the yellow jersey at the Tour of China II, as well as taking silver in the road race at the Asian Championships in Tashkent.
Vosekalns was considered one of Latvia's best riders in his teenage years when he won the National Road Race and then the Individual Time trial in 2010. He emerged as Latvia National Champion in 2014. Hengxiang signed him from Rietumu Delfin in 2018.
LTdL will start rolling with a team presentation ceremony in Kota Kinabalu on Feb 5, before stage one begins in Kuching on Feb 7. The tour concludes with stage eight in Langkawi island. The tour covers 1095.7km across nine states.
In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the tour, Human Voyage will also host the International Criterium race in Kota Kinabalu on Feb 6 and the Malaysian Classic in Langkawi Island on Feb 15.