LANGKAWI, April 13 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today described the festivity surrounding the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) showed the race has been rejuvenated after experiencing a loss of interest in the past few editions.
He said in the past eight days, the coverage by the media including television broadcast had provided good publicity to Malaysia.
“I could see the excitement coming back as the response to the race in the past eight days was overwhelming.
“The race has generated a lot of interest wherever it was held all over Malaysia. The television coverage was very good, it was said the Genting Highlands stage garnered 400 million viewers for Malaysia,” he said.
He was speaking at a media conference after presenting prizes to winners of the 2019 LTdL here today.
Also present were Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir.
Commenting on the performance of national riders at 2019 LTdL, Dr Mahathir said based on the results achieved, Malaysians are beginning to excel in cycling.
“Initially there were no local teams at all but after training for some time, they could even succeed in winning the race. Today, we see a Malaysian team (Team Sapura Cycling) clinching the yellow jersey, which means Malaysians have the talent and we hope the cycling sport would be enjoyed by more Malaysians,” he said.
When commenting on the success of Langkawi, Dr Mahathir said island resort has a huge potential as a cycling recreation centre.
“Langkawi has been an island resort but at the same time, we want to see the island becoming a recreational centre with focus on cycling and I am confident we would be able to train more riders to become world champions,’ he said.
Replying to the same question on whether the first stage of LTdL next year will start from Langkawi, Dr Mahathir said matter could be implemented depending the support of sponsors. — Bernama