Le Tour de Langkawi 2012 @ Putrajaya

Reymond Krader, ProTeam Garmin Barracuda,
LTdL 2012 @Putrajaya
We usually ride to Sungai Long every Saturdays but on this one. This Saturday we rode to Putrajaya where the 2nd stage of 2012 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) was held.  There’s no way we’re going to miss it especially when we’re having two Pro-Tour teams, Astana and  Garmin Barracuda in this year’s  race together with other Professional Continental, Continental and National team. You can check out the full list here: http://bit.ly/wEKo8J

The four of us (Farizal, Zaha, Farihan and me) rendezvous at the SILK Highway PETRONAS Station at 0800hrs and headed out to Putrajaya via the SKVE. Some of the roads were closed down for the race. We were fortunate the police didn't mind us when we made our way through the safety cones and straight at the starting line on the Putra bridge,  not far from Masjid Putra. By the time we reached there, at around 9.15am, the crowds were building up. Cycling fans clad in jerseys in all shapes and sizes, school kids, media, photographers, race officials and also baffled tourists were gathering at the pre-race staging area. 

For those who don’t know what is pre-race staging area, here is how it work. Prior to every Tour stage, riders must sign in on a pre-race staging area. The procedure is required as a part of Tour tradition and also to appease spectators gathered near the starting line, awaiting the arrival of their favorite riders before a stage start.

We hanged around for a while and watched the riders signed in. After a few minutes we found what we’re looking for, Vino and the Astana team. Unfortunately the whole riders checking-in process was over shadowed by the dancers dancing and the music...it was hectic. While I applauded the organiser for trying to make the event more happening but honestly, I thought it was very distracting. The emcee could have just announced the name of the riders when they arrived at the staging area. If you asked me, the signing-in process would be better off if they didn't have the dancers dancing in the middle of the road and in front of the pre-race staging area. It posed an unnecessary risk and the riders had to be extra careful not to hit the dancers.

Later on we went further up near the Masjid's Putra round-about to check out the teams doing their warm ups. Our prayers were answered when we saw Vino on his bike cycling towards the Milo station to grab a drink and joined his Astana team across the road. We went straight to him and Zaha asked if we could take few photos with him to which he gladly obliged. Thank you for being such a sport Vino!

Alexandre Vinokourov or Vino first participated the LTdL in 1997 with the Kazakhstan national team. It was during this event that he caught the eye of Gilles Mas, directeur sportif at Casino, who brought him to the French team as a stagiaire or trainee in August 1997. Vinokourov signed his first professional contract in 1998 with the squad directed by Vincent Lavenu.

This year, he’s leading the Astana team and accompanied by Assan Bazayev, Alexandre Dyachenko , Dimitriy Gruzdev, Valentin Iglinskiy and Andrey Zeits. The 2012 LTdL starts his final season in the pro-ranks. After this, Vinokourov is scheduled to compete in Italy at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali at the end of March. He will be running for parliamentary election in Kazakhstan, January next year.

We certainly enjoyed looking at the bikes, jerseys and the entourages. It was fun and we were like kids in a candy store. One of the best part of being here was to be able to see all the bikes and gears the riders were riding on. It definitely was real treat. Even though it was a hot day but the ambiance was just spectacular.

When the race about to get started, we rushed to the starting line to watch the flag-off. The second stage was a 151Km ride from Putrajaya, all the way to Melacca. Again there’s another dancing while we were minutes away from the 10.00am flag-off. I’m not sure if the emcee was joking, but the part that he jokingly kept telling the dancers to speed up was really funny. If it’s part an effort to ease the riders pre-race tension, I’d say it might just worked. Check out the videos below to see for yourselves. They really looked relaxed.

After the flag off we cycled to precinct 15 for RnR. While cycling on the Masjid Putra's round-about, we bumped into Bob and his gang. It has been a while since we last him about few months. Chatty and bubbly fellow as ever. We cycled together  to Ali Bistro before heading home. Bob if you happened to read this blog, thank you for the treat. We wish you well and every success in your current endeavour.

Below are some of the pictures and videos taken on Saturday.


Video 1:  Riders signing in at the pre-race staging area

Video 2: Singing and dancing at the pre-race stating area

Video 3: Cavalcade passing by

Video 4: Riders started to assemble at the starting line

Video 6: Pre-race show...hmmmmm....

Video 7: Pre race arrangements

Video 8: The Flag-off

Pictures taken on Saturday:

@ PETRONAS Silk Highway
Farihan's new ride- Scott CR1


The pre-race staging area

Riders signing in...
Hossein Askari from Tabriz Petrochemical Team (TPT)

Astana's Valentin Iglinskiy checking in at the pre-race staging area

Craig Lewis (USA), Team Champion System (CSS)

Dmitriy Gruzdev from Pro-Team Astana
Warming up

Jai Crawford from RTS Racing team did a stunt...

And his wearing sandals...

Seoul Cycling Team

Team Astana
Team Cycling Addicts

Vino (Right) and the Astana team

Zaha and Vino
Vino and Me
Vino and Farihan

Ahmad Fallanie Ali, Malaysia National Team

Team Europcar

Cristiano Benenati - Farnese Vini - Selle Italia

Adam Phelan- Drapac Cycling

 Nathan Haas-Garmin Barracuda

Roman Van Uden, NZ National Team

Alfredo Balloni and his Farnese Vini-Selle Italia team mate

Team CA... hehehe

Yellow jersey Dave Zabrieske (USA) - Gamin Barracuda 

Enroute to Precinct 15

RnR @ Ali Bistro


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