Saturday, March 2, 2013

Eyeing the Le Tour de Langkawi 2

MNCF against LTdL transfer

THE Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) will not agree to any transfer of Le Tour de Langkawi's ownership or organisational rights to a third party.

MNCF president Datuk Abu Samah Wahab said the national body's executive committee is unanimously firm in its decision.

This comes after a TimeSport report in which Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek confirmed that Human Voyage Sdn Berhad, the company that organises the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge (LIMBC) had made an official request for the takeover to the ministry.
Human Voyage is chaired by former cyclist Datuk Malik Mydin, famously remembered for being the first Malaysian to swim across the English Channel.

Ahmad Shabery, however, said the ministry will make a decision based on the evaluation of the latest edition of the race, which ends in Kuala Terengganu today.

The request, which included a proposal, was for the company to take over the organisation of the UCI 2.HC LTdL from next year.

"Our exco has made its stand and we are serious about this.

"Since 2007, LTdL's registration has been under the MNCF and we've not only jointly organised the race with the Sports Ministry and National Sports Council (NSC), we've saved it and done a good job at it," said Abu Samah.

"We've received awards from the International Cycling Union (UCI) recognising the level of organisation as excellent, which not many other races have achieved.

"The government has been funding it, but the registration is MNCF's right.

"So we do not agree with the race organisation being handed to a private company just like that."
The LTdL is one of Asia's biggest cycling events, but has gone through a troubled past, namely the 2005 and 2006 editions which saw the race ravaged by mismanagement of sponsorship funds and non-payment of dues to contractors and suppliers under the now wound-up former organiser First Cartel Sdn Berhad.
"When First Cartel changed hands in 2004, it was sold by Datuk Wan Lokman Wan Ibrahim to Simon Donnellan.

"It was then a private company which held the rights to organise the race. But since they failed, the rights were handed over to MNCF," said Abu Samah.

"So, if we look at it that way, any company wishing to take over LTdL's organisation will have to buy over MNCF.

"But I'm sorry, the MNCF is not for sale. We intend to keep the rights as the federation's and whoever takes over as president after me will have to ensure that it remains so."

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