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Froome To Ride in Langkawi

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22, 2011 – Chris Froome, Britain’s new cycling sensation who finished runners-up in the recent Vuelta, the Tour of Spain, will saddle up for the Langkawi International Mountainbike Challenge 2011 next month.

Currently competing with the British team in the World Championship in Copenhagen, Froome is looking forward to swapping his road bike for some off-road action on the legendary island of Langkawi on Oct 17-23.

The 26-year old said: “I actually started cycling through mountain biking, so it’ll be a nice change to switch away from the road bike for a bit and go back to my roots at the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge.

“I believe Langkawi is a paradise for training, so I plan to ride an event or two and then spend some time enjoying a few outdoor activities, exploring a few places and taking in the scenery on my bike.”

Froome’s attendance is seen as a further boost to the Langkawi event which, into its second year, is already attracting considerable international interest from the mountain bike community.

Race organiser and Human Voyage CEO, Datuk Malik Mydin, said: “We are naturally delighted to have a rider of Chris’s stature come to Langkawi and participate in our event. I’m sure the other riders will relish the rare opportunity to meet him and ride alongside a true international star of cycling.

“The island of Langkawi provides him the perfect place to ride, relax and enjoy himself after his recent remarkable results and I’m sure his attendance will attract more world class athletes in the years to come. Above all his presence in the jamboree event will allow riders from all social strata to ride beside him. That opportunity does not come often,” said Malik.

Froome’s epic battle in the recent Vuelta a Espana with eventual winner Juan Jose Cobo had cycling fans around the world on the edge of their seats.

The Kenyan-born rider is highly regarded for his loyalty in assisting team-mate Bradley Wiggins in the mountain stages of the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana. However, he has in the past year enjoyed his own success with top-10 finishes in the Tours of Castilla y Leon, Luxembourg, Romandie and Switzerland.

He rode a blistering time-trial on stage 10 of the Vuelta to hold the overall leader’s jersey for a day, before a week of relentless attacks in the high mountains finally paid off in stunning style with a memorable win on Stage 17. By the time the race reached its finale in Madrid, Froome lay second overall, missing the top step of the podium by a mere 13 seconds.

Froome’s participation reaffirms LIMBC’s status as a world-class event with a world-class field, with more than 20 different nationalities registering for the week-long race.

Top elite team, Team Colnago Farbe Sudtirol boasts World No 12 Nathalie Schneitter, winner of the Champery leg of the World Cup series last year. Nathalie will be accompanied by Swiss champ, Vivienne Meyer.

Inaugural winner, Lachlan Norris, will be eager to defend his elite men’s title while United States’ No 1 Under-23 rider, Russell Finsterwald, will represent the Subaru Trek team.

German-based Team Bulls will parade former European champion Thomas Dietsch of France and German three time Cape Epic champ, Karl Platt.

Completing the stellar line-up of teams are Team Bridgestone Anchor of Japan which boasts an impressive lineup including Mountain Bike cross country three time Asian champion, Kohei Yamamoto and MTN Qhubeka of South Africa.

Team Qhubeka will parade multiple South African mountain bike champ Yolande Speedy and Paul Cordes.

The adventure trail begins with Stage 1 on Oct 18 with the 62km round island race, followed by the cross country Olympic which starts and finishes at Kampung Tok Senik Resort as Stage 2.

Stage 3 is a 7-hour endurance cross country special stage race at Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok, followed by the nerve-shredding King of the Mountain and cross country race which will end at the Gunung Raya Hill as Stage 4, before the event culminates with Stage 5, a cross country short circuit race. An off-road jamboree ride marks the closing and final day of this much-anticipated race, with a limited participation of up to 1,000 riders for the 44km race. Social riders of all ages and backgrounds are welcomed to participate.