South Africa’s Dimension Data is the first World Tour team to have signed up for the 22nd Le Tour de Langkawi set to take place in Malaysia from February 22nd to March 1 st .
They’ll make their way to South East Asia as defending champions after having won the overall classification twice in a row with Youcef Reguigui and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.
“In our history that goes over three decades, no team has managed to make a hat trick, so here’s a challenge for them”, Le Tour de Langkawi 2017 CEO Emir Abdul Jalal noted. With two consecutive wins, firstly as MTN-Qhubeka, secondly as Dimension Data, the only African World Tour team mimicked Mapei (with Gabriele Missaglia and Paolo Lanfranchi in 1998-99), Barloworld (Ryan Cox and David George in 2005-06), Diquigiovanni (Ruslan Ivanov and José Serpa in 2008-09) and the same Italian squad renamed Androni (Jonathan Monsalve and José Serpa again in 2011-12).
“Everyone talks about Africa in cycling now but this is nothing new to us in Malaysia. For the very first Le Tour de Langkawi in 1996, the South African national team was invited. Douglas Ryder, the big boss of Dimension Data now, was part of it.”, Emir added.
Shall Dimension Data make this highly expected hattrick in its seventh straight participation, it will be with a third different cyclist as Reguigui and Janse van Rensburg have not been entered this time around. Jacques Janse van Rensburg is the most regular African performer at LTdL in recent years. At the age of 21, racing for Trek-Marco Polo, he finished sixth overall. He also came 20th in 2012, 14th in 2013, 6th again in 2014 and 9th in 2015.
DIMENSION DATA FOR THE 2017 LE TOUR DE LANGKAWI:
Nic Dougall, Ryan Gibbons (Rsa), Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa), Ben O’Connor (Aus), Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Jaco Venter (Rsa). Reserve: Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri).