Le Tour de Langkawi R.I.P.1996-2008

Taken from BIKEPRO mailing list.

Morning folks,

DocHuff is here today to talk about the latest LTdL debacle - the removal of theGenting stage. As most of you all know Doc Huff is somewhat of an oracle on the subject of LTdL and can therefore dismiss/confirm facts quicker than Timmy can down a double malt.

Genting's removalis eloquently played down in today's NST by everybody's favourite 'cyclingexpert' Arzhole B Cyborg as, I quote, "a final tweak" ...He-heh! something of an understatement wouldn't you say!
Of even greatercomedy value is the statement by Datuk Na├»ve that "Frasers Hill is equallyas challenging as Genting"… does this mean that the fat twat hasactually got on a bike and ridden up both before passing judgement?
Any cyclists hereagree with him?

Of course not, theeducated reader(s?) of Bikepro doesn't believe the polished lies spun in ragslike NST, especially when Doc Huff actually predicted this kind of nonsensewould happen many months ago. So let's talkabout the sad and frustrating truth about Genting's refusal… are you sittingcomfortably, then I shall begin.

One week ago (16thJan), Genting informed the LTdL Organising Committee that it would not allow therace to visit them next month, with the only consolation being that they wouldpay them RM500,000 for Le Tour to stay away.
"How can thisbe?" I hear the shocked reader(s?) of Bikepro ask.... Why would Genting, aloyal sponsor, a landmark venue and everybody's favourite stage of LTdL for thepast 12 years suddenly decide to reject the race after such an illustrioushistory with it?

Well firstly wemust all respect that Genting is a business, and a phenomenally successful oneat that. They have always been generous in welcoming and supporting LTdLdespite the severe disruption LTdL brought to its business.
Thankfully,Genting never imposed any major restrictions on the race going there and theyhave always gone out of their way in accommodating it. Not only did they providea great venue, they also gave considerable sponsorship money plus free hotelrooms and meals whilst the event was there... For an event organiser you reallycouldn't ask for more.

In fact, the onlynotable condition that Genting requested in its 12 years of support was that therace did not go there during the two-week period after Chinese New Year.
You see forGenting that is their busiest time of year and during those two weeks alonetheir hotels are 110% full whilst hundreds of millions of dollars are spent atthe casino and resort (on a similar level to the pre-christmas turnover at Boon Foo'sshop.)

Can you thereforeimagine the loss of revenue to Genting if their access road was closed for anentire Saturday afternoon during this period and they had to "give"around 900 otherwise fully booked hotel rooms away for free... The figure runsinto millions.
The odd thing isthis information is no secret and LTdL has known about this for 12 years! Noticehow the Genting stage has been on a weekday the past few years.
So knowing thisfact the big question is why in hell would LTdL even attempt to go thereimmediately after Chinese New Year?.. (I must also add why hold such a highprofile event during a period when a large sector of the public and media is onholiday?)

We can only guessthat the person from LTdL who was dealing with them either didn't listen,ignored their advice or didn't even bother to inform Genting of the racesintentions? Considering the race route was publicly launched twice withGenting's inclusion then you would have thought they would have said somethingabout it back then... Well they would... had they known about it... which theydidn't... because nobody told them... It was just assumed that the race could goup there.

So who is to blamefor this rather critical assumption?... I've heard some of you mention... DatukNik of the Sports Ministry?.. No, it's not him... whilst he chairs theorganising committee on behalf of the Ministry he has no contact with thesponsors or venues so no disrespect to the man.
Could it be Hj.Abu Samah then, the constantly under-fire President of MNCF?... Well that's whothey'll try to blame it on…but no it's not him either.
Maybe it's thatMat Salleh bloke who was a few ringgit short of running it a couple of yearsback?... Well NST would love to blame iton him… along with 9-11, the cubanmissile crisis, global warming and the price of cooking oil going up... but no,it's got nothing to do with him either.

So who'sresponsible? To find out, we need to ask who decided on the dates of therace in the first place?.. All international race dates have to be submitted tothe UCI by Jun 30th of the previous year in order for the calendar to becompiled and approved at the UCI annual congress held immediately before theWorld Championshipsat the end of September.

To his credit, HjAbu Samah made proper enquiries backin MAY 2007 as to when the best dates forLTdL 2008 ought to be and was told Jan 25th - 3rd Feb as it avoided CNY and leftno problem for Genting. Clashing with Qatarand Australiais and never has been an issue as they are different races to LTdL andattract different teams.
So armed with goodinformation, Tuan Haji duly submitted the application to the UCIrequesting that period and that application lies on record in Switzerlandtoday. Please also note that he requested a 10day event.

It was somewhatbizzare then that LTdL's self-titled Chief Operating Officer, a certain Datukknown as Chief Monkey, wrote to the UCI on the 1st October 2007 asking that thedates be moved to 9th-17th February2008 (a nine day race).
A senior figure atthe UCI who is very familiar with LTdL even questioned the sender on whetherholding the race on the wrong side of CNY would be an issue forGenting? Brushing aside the concern, Chief Monkey confidently replied"Not a problem"...
...well actuallyit was...

Equally confidentwas Chief Monkey when he howled in the press that the race no longer neededadvice from a foreign consultant, such was the vast knowledge of the learnedDatuk... "Malaysia Boleh, Hidup Azalina" he cried... Perhaps he forgotthat F1, A1, Monsoon in the Cup etc all have foreign consultants for a reason...Nope, all LTdL needs according to Chief Monkey is government dollars...taxpayers dollars in fact... and lots of them.


Which leads us toask a few questions like why with all this knowledge has the route needed to bechanged 5 times?.. Why is it as boring as hell and as lumpy as a snooker table?

Why are there apathetic two climbs in the entire race, the first one a whopping Category 4 onStage 6!!! The other being the Genting busting Fraser's Hill. Anyideas as to what happens to the KOM jersey for the first 5 stages?
Normally, theroute is decided in June/July and finalised in September... Why with two weeksto go is it still being"tweaked"?... I won't mention the race manualthat needs to be circulated one month before.

And in theultimate display of political brown nosing, the race goes loop-de-loop around East Johor just so it can have a sprint outside theMinister of Butch's house and finish in her tiny home town... Nose not brownenough yet? Well ok, let's start there the next day as well... mmmn, yum-yum,lick-lick!
In fact the routeis littered with such pathetic"points of UMNO interest" and designedmore for political approval than sporting challenge.
And why with allthis (public) money is there no promotion, it's embarrassing how littleinformation is being released? You would think with Arzhole. B.Cyborg (Chief Monkey's pet poodle) on the payroll the positive stories would beflying out the newspaper columns, but no, not a peep.

Doc Huff could goon and on and on and on but most of you will be nodding off by now so I'llreturn to the original question...Who screwed up Genting?
Well of course itwas Chief Monkey... You see this bodoh sombong Chief Monkey deals personallywith the sponsors... and this Chief Monkey didn't care about Genting's wishesbecause this Chief Monkey believes he can do anything by political means and aquick phonecall to such and such a Minister or a letter from Pak Tidur will haveeveryone bending over shouting"give it to me baby"
...for some yes,but not all...

...you see youcannot bully Genting, which is what Chief Monkey thought he could do when hetold people that the CNY race dates would be ok.
And that is why onthe morning of 16th January 2008, Resorts World Berhad (Genting) informed LTdLthat it was not welcome.
Doc Huff, likeothers, is saddened at this latest series of incompetence and wonders whateverhappened to the good old days of 10 stages of various terrain including atime-trial and two mountain top finishes (Cameron and Genting), teams likeMapei, Discovery Channel (the real one, not the plastic Hong Kong version),Liberty Seguros with Beloki, Jorge Jasche etc, global tv coverage, a propercavalcade and fun, sponsor driven entertainment including concerts, Cybergames, exoticdancers featuring real women, Asha Gill massaging riders and shaving their legs,Jojo Struyss in crop-top and hot pants etc, etc...
Today we've gotnine stages of politically driven, uninspiring dross with the profile of runway2 at KLIA (plus 209km stages in February, ridiculous!), Mediocre teams, Cheaplooking cavalcade giving out UMNO leaflets (honestly, Singapore taxi's look moreexciting!, dull cultural shows by a bunch of finger-bending ladyboys,non-contributing sponsors and a massive budget of RM20million++ that no-oneother than Chief Monkey and his crony cohorts knows where its spent...
LTdL is sick... Idoubt the poor girl will ever recover and fear she may not be around in 12monthstime.

Doc Huff is merelyscratching the surface with the above and has reams of more sad but true scandalto tell you but for the fear of using up all of Bikepro's server space we'llsave that for another installment...

Dr Michael"off to ISA" Hfuhruhurr

at Thursday, January 24, 2008  

1 comments:

Adrian said... Fri Jan 25, 05:09:00 PM 2008  

well bernard i've not read every word of the post but i do think that the two major changes of the route after it was first announced is a real embarrassment and the organisers should be ashamed of themselves. i am sure that the cycling world is laughing at them! i was very surprised when they omitted the KL criterium. not thinking about CNY is pretty stupid too!!

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