Saturday, 1 January 2011

Landbouwkrediet for Tour de Langkawi


BELGIAN team Landbouwkrediet will return to Le Tour de Langkawi after four years of absence. They are set to strengthen the field of the Malaysian H.C. race from January 23rd to February 1st.

This is a legendary team as the Belgian bank has been a faithful backer of the team for ten years already. Landbouwkrediet stepped in way back in 2001 but the squad managed by Gerard Bulens initially named under Saxon and then Tönissteiner was created in 1992. “Not many cycling teams manage to celebrate their twentieth anniversary”, said the founder who has put stability as his priority while other managers have tried to get their organisation to grow too fast and were eventually forced to close the business.
Landbouwkrediet makes the headlines in the winter season with their cyclo-cross super star Sven Nys but their road team looks well prepared to take over as early as in January. They will be coached at Le Tour de Langkawi by former Tour de France stage winner Marco Saligari who participated in the event himself in 1997, the year the Malaysian event kicked off on the island of Borneo. “I’ve always kept fond memories of Le Tour de Langkawi”, said the Italian who returned to Malaysia as a sport director. “I think it’s the best way for a team like ours to start the new season.”
The Landbouwkrediet team will look at building foundations for the European races dedicated to sprinters. They have an interesting mix of young and experienced riders with 37 year old Geert Verheyen to guide the beginners. As he finished second at GP of Frankfurt in 2010, he’s still very competitive. Le Tour de Langkawi will give exposure to two of the most promising prospects of Belgian cycling who finished the 2010 season on a high note: Joeri Stallaert who came 7th in Paris-Tours U23 and Baptiste Planckaert who was 5th in the H.C. Tour de Vendée.
Baptiste has no family relation to the famous brothers and sons Willy, Walter, Eddy, Jo and Francesco Planckaert but his father Ignaas has made the record books for finishing second in the 1980 Circuit des Ardennes one place ahead of eventual Tour de France triple crowned champion Greg LeMond and his grandfather Willy Truye was also a professional cyclist from 1955 to 1962 and he won the famous French one day race GP of Isbergues in 1957.

Team Manager: Marco SALIGARI
Riders: Davy COMMEYNE, Sébastien DELFOSSE, Benjamin GOURGUE, Baptiste PLANCKAERT, Joeri STALLAERT and Geert VERHEYEN (all Belgians)