Tour de Langkawi preview

Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia is one of Asia’s biggest cycling events, attracting competitors and teams from around the globe. This year, its 17th edition, takes place over ten days from Friday 24th February until Sunday 4th March. The race is organised by Malaysia’s National Sports Council in collaboration with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation.

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Rider updates: Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov and Nicolas Roche

I’m following the progress of three stage racers in 2012: arguably the greatest of his generation, Alberto Contador, Astana’s Alexandre Vinokourov – in probably his last year before retirement –  and AG2R’s Nico Roche. The three have been enjoying [not sure that’s the correct word – Ed] wildly different starts to the 2012 season. Here’s a quick summary of what they have been doing over the last few weeks.
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I love nothing better than the adrenalin rush of a good bunch sprint. But one of the things that attracts me to the sprints is the way they showcase teamwork in a sport in which the plaudits are generally bestowed on individuals.

The high-speed sprint train

Cavendish owes most of his victories to the sterling efforts of his teammates (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

In recent years no team typified this better than HTC-Highroad. Time after time they would get on the front of the peloton to chase down the day’s breakaway, with big-engined riders such as Lars Bak and Danny Pate spending umpteen kilometres with their noses to the wind. Continue reading