KUAH, LANGKAWI: PETROLIAM NASIONAL BERHAD (PETRONAS) has officially joined Le Tour de Langkawi as Title Sponsor for the next three years, beginning with the 2019 edition which gets underway next week.

The national oil and gas company was unveiled as Title Sponsor of Le Tour de Langkawi in a sponsorship ceremony officiated by Minister of Youth and Sports YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman in Langkawi, today.

PETRONAS’ involvement as the exclusive Title Sponsor of Le Tour de Langkawi will be over three years from 2019 until 2021. The sponsorship will be in the form of cash and in-kind.

The 8-stage UCI 2.0HC race, which covers a total distance of 1,234.4km over nine states in the west coast of Peninsula, will start off with a grand opening stage in the heart of Kuala Lumpur with the iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers as the background on April 6. The Tour ends with a penultimate round-island challenge and the finale on April 12 and 13.

PETRONAS has been Le Tour de Langkawi’s long-time partner since 1997, and has contributed immensely to the successful organisation of past editions.  PETRONAS has been instrumental in nation building and continues to be the flag bearer for Malaysia in the International arena through various platforms and has gone beyond racetracks in Motorsports.

PETRONAS’ long-term involvement in LTdL ensures vehicles and cars used to transport teams, riders, officials, media, cavalcade, police escorts and race staff, are adequately fuelled throughout the 8-day journey. 

Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq expressed his gratitude over PETRONAS’ major commitment towards LTdL, saying that the Company’s involvement in the Tour has helped the Tour evolve into what it has become today.

LTdL is currently a permanent fixture and among the leading 2.0HC races under the UCI Asia Tour calendar which offers UCI ranking points, apart from the lucrative prize money offered by the organisers.   

“I wish to record my gratitude to PETRONAS who is coming in a big way to support and ensure the smooth organisation of this year’s Tour. LTdL is much more than just a cycling race. It has become a national agenda which helps in the promotion of sports tourism and spur the local economy as well,” said YB Syed Saddiq.

PETRONAS believes that LTdL is a good platform for the company to build and project its brand both locally and internationally. "We believe that Le Tour de Langkawi is a good branding platform beyond race tracks in Motorsports, for both PETRONAS and Malaysia. As a Title Sponsor for three years, we are continuing our brand building effort, both domestically and Internationally,” said Noor Afiza Mohd Yusof, PETRONAS’ Head of  Brand Management Department.

This year’s edition will start off with a challenging 176.9 km hilly route from the PETRONAS Twin Towers (KLCC) in Kuala Lumpur, to Dataran Tampin in Negeri Sembilan. The 8-stage race covers a total distance of 1,234 km, mainly on the west coast route.

The much awaited Genting climb takes place on the fourth day from Shah Alam. Langkawi will host the penultimate and final stages on 12 and 13 April respectively.

In tandem with the Tour’s “Sports Unites, Cycling Contributes” theme, the organisers are hoping that this year’s edition receives even greater response and support from spectators, masses and fans across Malaysia.

A total of 22 teams comprising outfits from the World Tour, Pro-Continental, Continental and National Teams tiers are down for action in the Tour organised by Human Voyage Sdn Bhd.

Malaysian and European fans will be able to catch the action via a 90-minute live broadcast of the race and a 30-minute daily highlights throughout the eight-day event. Overall, LTdL is looking at a coverage of over 100 counties with 310 million viewers on television and 70 million viewers through Cycling.TV.

To enhance fan experience and to encourage the community to come out and support this event, accompanying activities will be held at the finishing location of each stage throughout the race.