PUTRAJAYA, Sept 3 — Malaysia will be holding its first-ever Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) 2.1 race called Tour of Peninsular (ToP) 2019, from October 15-19.
ToP 2019 chief operating officer, Emir Abdul Jalal, said although several have suggested it, ToP will not be replacing Jelajah Malaysia, the oldest cycling race in the country.
He said the five-stage ToP 2019 will offer a special and huge points haul because it is taking place near the end of the 2018/2019 calendar.
“A 2.1 class race can attract professional teams, but to start off, we will get professional continental teams. I am given to understand that in line with a new UCI criterion, a professional continental team that would like to list as ‘professional’ must have a certain point total.
“As ToP is at the tail end of the calendar, there will be teams that will want to sign up. Certainly, Malaysia’s Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) and Team Sapura Cycling (TSC) will get a golden opportunity at the UCI Asia Tour,” he said after the ToP 2019 launch today.
ToP 2019 is looking forward to the participation of 120 cyclists representing 20 professional continental, continental and national teams.
The 850.7km race, which crosses five states, will start in Dungun, Terengganu and finish in Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Steven Sim, said the event which is being held during the National Sports Month of October and has been included in the My Sports Challenge (MySC’19) calendar, makes his ministry proud because it will attract coverage by international media.
“Certainly, it would enhance the government’s efforts for Visit Malaysia Year 2020,” he said while adding that various side events have been scheduled with the assistance of state and district youth and sports departments.