PUTRAJAYA, 3 September 2019 – Malaysia continues to cement its position as a top class host of road cycling stage races with the launch of the inaugural Tour of Peninsular (ToP) at the Youth and Sports Ministry in the Federal Administrative Capital today.

Tour of Peninsular, which will be held from October 15-19, is Malaysia’s first ever UCI 2.1 stage race which places it a cut above tours such as Jelajah Malaysia and Tour de Iskandar Johor, which are both rated as UCI 2.2 races, and just a step under the iconic Le Tour de Langkawi, which is a UCI 2.HC event.

It is also one of the first races to be awarded UCI 2.1 status from the onset which shows the confidence the world governing body (UCI) has in experienced race organiser Motoshoot Event Sdn Bhd which will be running Tour of Peninsular this year.

The Tour of Peninsular will see riders covering a total distance of 850.7 kilometres over five stages for this inaugural race. The race route will see them racing along some of Malaysia’s most beautiful, and physically challenging, terrain on both the East and West coast of peninsular Malaysia.

Stage 1 will see riders starting the tour from the UiTM campus in Dungun and end at Dataran Shahbandar in Kuala Terengganu, covering a total distance of 196.0km. Stage 2 will be flagged off from Pesisir Payang, which is the revamped entrance of the iconic Pasar Payang market in Kuala Terengganu.

The race will then cross borders into Kelantan with the day set to end at Stadium Mohamad IV in Kota Bharu, with Stage 2 covering a total distance of 197.8km. The relative flat profiles of Stage 1 and 2 should see both stages ending in an exciting bunch sprint.

Stage 3, which starts in Pasir Mas, is the longest stage of the tour this year and should offer the general classification contenders a chance to assert their authority ahead of the queen stage.

Gruelling climbs at Titiwangsa (category 1) and Tasik Banding (category 2) could see a breakaway sticking till the end of the stage in Gerik in Perak. The third day will see riders covering a total distance of 200.0km.

The fourth and penultimate stage is the shortest at 110.5km but is without a doubt the toughest, fitting of its status as the queen stage of the tour this year.

Stage 4 starts in Ipoh and will feature a category 1 climb at Kampung Raja (elevation 1,413m) and will end with a hors category climb at Brinchang (elevation 1,506m) with the overall race winner likely to be decided at the end of the day.

The fifth and final stage, which covers a total distance of 146.6km, will be flagged off from Tapah. Stage 5 will offer King of the Mountain (KOM) classification contenders much to fight for with category 4 climbs at Kalumpang, Kuala Kubu Baru, Rasa, Rawang and Templer before the stage and the tour comes to an end at Wangsa Walk Mall in Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim, whose ministry have given their full approval and support to the event, is confident the race will provide local teams the opportunity to compete at an international level on home soil and collect valuable ranking points.

Being held in October, Tour of Peninsular will also feature in the government’s newly launched initiative – Malaysia Sports Challenge (MySC) which will run throughout the same month.

Steven officiated the official launch of Tour of Peninsular in Putrajaya today.

“As the Tour of Peninsular has been scheduled for October 15-19, the Youth and Sports Ministry has placed this event in the calendar of programmes for MySC, which will be held throughout the month of October,” said Steven, in his opening ceremony speech.

“The Tour of Peninsular will allow Malaysia’s main teams – the national team as well as continental teams Terengganu Inc TSG and Team Sapura Cycling – more opportunities to compete in international level competitions on home soil.

“We are also proud that both our continental teams TSG and Sapura are currently first and second in the UCI Asia Tour rankings. This is the nation’s best achievement in road cycling to date.

“The chance to collect more points should be utilised by these two teams, especially as they are competing on home soil.

“As a UCI 2.1 event, Tour of Peninsular will offer greater points for stage winners as well as the overall champions as compared to UCI 2.2 events and is not too far from what is awarded in UCI 2.HC races such as Le Tour de Langkawi.”

Steven added the that the promotion of the event and publicity via media coverage, both locally and internationally, will provide the race’s sponsors a positive return on investment.

The Terengganu State Government, who have played a key role in the development of Malaysian cycling over the years, are among the major sponsors of Tour of Peninsular this season.

As a UCI 2.1 event, Tour of Peninsular is allowed to invite World Tour and Pro Continental teams to compete in the race. However, for the first year the line-up of 20 teams will consist of Pro Continental, Continental and National teams.

The race organisers will also be broadcasting the race worldwide via live streaming incorporating the latest technology.