ORGANIZERS of the Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi 2023 (LTdL) National Sports Council (MSN) on Monday introduced another main sponsor—Tourism Malaysia—for the King of Mountain jersey.
MSN Director General Dato’ Ahmad Shapawi Ismail said the presence of Tourism Malaysia with the “Malaysia Truly Asia” brand will further enlivens the eight-day ProSeries race in addition to promoting the country’s sports tourism industry.
“KBS is very grateful to Tourism Malaysia, which not only came up with the sponsorship of 1 million [Malaysian Ringgit], but will also provide various promotional programs such as traditional performances at all starting venues, invitations of ‘influencers’ from abroad and various domestic and international promotions to ensure that LTdL this year is more lively and well attended.
“As such, Tourism Malaysia has been given the honor of being the sponsor of the ‘King of Mountain’ jersey with the rider leading the climb classification be given the right to be in the polka dot,” he said at the official announcement ceremony at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil.
Director General of Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Dr Ammar Abd Ghafar graced the event.
Ahmad Shapawi said the King of Mountain category is a very unique and popular jersey in that many big races like the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, the best climbers of the various teams fought fiercely not only in the big climbs but also worked out strategies to win points all along the route.
“It is the same in LTdL where to win the right to wear the polka dot jersey sponsored by Tourism Malaysia, riders need to collect enough points before the biggest challenge of them all which is the torturous climb up Genting Highlands [on Stage 5].
“This is where the attention of local fans will be focussed on with national rider Muhammad Nur Aiman Zariff, representing the Terengganu Polygon Cycling Team, having won the King of Mountain jersey twice at LTdL 2020 and also LTdL 2022 ,” he added.
Ahmad Shapawi further went on to say that KBS is confident that through ‘live’ broadcast via the world’s number one cycling broadcaster Eurosport which is watched by hundreds of millions of viewers , and social media platforms Youtube and TikTok, will give multiple returns on the amount of sponsorship that has been extended.
He said that through promotional programmes such as the Calvacade parade and side events, the Tourism Malaysia brand will remain close to the Malaysian populace to continue choosing local holiday destinations.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ammar said that LTdL is not something new for Tourism Malaysia because the agency has been partners with the race since its inception in 1996.
“Our sponsorship decision is based on the whole sponsorship return package which is quite complete, especially the opportunity to promote the ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ brand to the whole world, not only limited to the attractions of various cultures, locations and tourist centres but also featuring a prosperous, developed Malaysia and progressive to help the Government attract investment and international trade to our country.
“We also appreciate the opportunity given by the organisers as the main sponsor with the right to the polka dot jersey because the leader of the King of Moutain category is very popular in every Grand Tours, and the climb to Genting Highlands is also recognised as one of the toughest climbs in world cycling, ” he said.
He said that in addition to cash sponsorship, Tourism Malaysia is also committed to promoting LTdL by providing traditional cultural performances at each start location, as well as bringing famous influencers from Indonesia to several race locations to promote LTdL more creatively so as to reach a wider audience.
With the theme “Beat The Heat,” LTdL 2023 organized by KBS through MSN in collaboration with the National Cycling Federation of Malaysia (PKBM) will start with Stage 1 in Kerteh, Terengganu and pass through 11 of the 12 states in the Peninsula before ending with Stage 8 at the iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers (KLCC) on September 30.
A total of 22 teams, namely two teams with WorldTeam status, eight ProTeam teams, 11 Continental teams and the Malaysian national team will compete.