L’Étape Malaysia is back with a slew of new improvements to give cycling fans a significant mission to complete when the Tour de France race model kicks out on July 7-8 on the sun-kissed shores of Desaru Coast, Johor. It is the only cyclosportive series that allows amateur cyclists to genuinely experience the Tour de France.
L’ÉTape Malaysia was officially recognised as the world’s second largest event last year, with a total of 4,700 participants. Over 2,500 people have registered for the edition, with organisers confident of reaching 4,000 before the deadline of 9 June 2023.
The race categories at L’Étape Malaysia will be The Race (140km), The Ride (60km), Men’s Team (5 men), and Women’s Team (5 women).
This year, the ELITE Category will be launched, which will be dedicated solely to those who wish to compete like the pros. This category will receive professional race services such as dedicated mobile feeding, professional timing chip, traffic and logistics support, and neutral services.
MUSE Group Asia and KPRJ Sports, the event’s co-organisers, have taken comments from last year’s attendees and promised to present a more thorough spectacle this year.
This year’s significant implementation for L’Étape Malaysia is the introduction of modern timing chip technology to ensure participants’ precise finishing time when they reach the finish line. In addition, a stronger technical team will be developed in collaboration with Cyclomotion, a top technical provider for amateur racing.
A new Desaru Coast route will be implemented to further split the 60km and 140km race routes, allowing cyclists to focus on finishing in the fastest time possible. This will be done at a low cost in comparison to the convenience of the race and the overall experience for the participants.
The local authorities have been extremely helpful in ensuring that the race runs smoothly from start to end. The water and aid stations will be converted into an “R&R” pitstop for riders to rest and refuel, with room for cyclists to turn away from the racetrack for a breather. Registered racers will receive a thorough race e-guide and a brief instructional film prior to race day.
L’Étape Cycling Clinic is an eight-week event in which studio trainers train alongside interested cyclists. The goal is to enable athletes carve out successful careers, which is expected to be attained by last year’s male champion Elmi Juhari and female winner Yeong Zhen Yi, as well as another Johor-born cyclist, Heng Zi Hen.
L’Étape Malaysia is providing individuals with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in the L’Étenape du Tour in France, a mass cycling event that involves Elmi, Yeong, and Heng participating at the top level in ‘Wave 0’.
“We wanted these selected cyclists’ to experience the best of L’Étape, and we are honoured to send them to the prestigious L’Étape Du Tour de France. We have worked hard to ensure that the participants’ get an enriching overall experience, especially when it comes to their safety and race timing. We want them to be able to go out there and give their best with a peace of mind, and we will strive to make that happen,” said Riduwan Matni, CEO of Muse Group Asia.
Hairi bin Mad Shah, Chairman of the Youth, Sports, Entrepreneur Development, Cooperatives and Human Resources, was happy to welcome this international event to the Southern state once again.
“Hosting L’Étape Malaysia last year went some way to reinforcing the event on the global map. With a diverse participation from more than 40 countries this year, we are certain that Johor will also benefit immensely from the domestic tourism boost as we welcome them to experience our various attractions.”
“Sending the Johor-born cyclist to the L’Étape Du Tour de France is also a testament to Johor’s commitment to sports development to continue unearthing new talents. We look forward to working together with all the stakeholders to make this another successful event,” he said.
“Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd (KPRJ) through its subsidiary, KPRJ Sports Sdn Bhd (KSSB) believes for this second year of organising the event, we will deliver the best racing experience for our participants, and it is evident through the latest introductions for this year’s event. We encourage every budding cyclists out there to come and be part of this premium global cycling event,” said Dato’ Lukman bin Abu Bakar, Chief Executive Officer of KPRJ.
Ambassador of France to Malaysia His Excellency, Axel Cruau, was looking forward to everyone converging yet again for this iconic event. “Since 1903, Le Tour de France has been so much more than a cycling race! It is a competition that tests the human limits, and yet that everyone can relate to. It takes place in the unique landscapes of France, and yet it is a show that the whole world can enjoy. It is a part of our national heritage that this year we are thrilled to share in Johor with our Malaysian friends,” he said.
“Venue hosting L’Étape Johor has become a Desaru Coast showcase to more international sporting events. As one of the biggest cycling tournaments in the world, hosting L’Étape by Tour de France has not only benefited our destination, it has brought a wider gain to the greater Desaru community.”
“For this reason, Desaru Coast is committed to its longstanding support to Johor state in making Johor a hub for sports tourism in the country. We hope to continue making Desaru Coast the home to L’Étape Malaysia in the years to come,” said Roslina Arbak, Chief Executive Officer of Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn. Bhd., master developer and operator of Desaru Coast.