KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Council (NSC) has decided to drop the iconic climb up to Genting Highlands from this year’s Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) (Sep 29-Oct 6).

Genting Highlands was included in the original route this year, which was announced in March, but has now been replaced with a climb up to Fraser’s Hill in the fourth stage (Oct 2).

The fourth stage will still start in Kuala Kubu Baru, but will now end in Bentong, covering 148.9km, instead of Genting Highlands.

NSC, who are organising the race for the second year in a row, said this was due to roadworks being conducted along the Genting Highlands route.

The change in route was decided after completing a recce of the new route,” said NSC in a statement released today.

“Safety was a priority, we took into consideration the works that will be conducted to improve the road and slopes along the Genting Highlands route during the race dates.

“But as announced previously, the organisers have retained the back-to-back climbs concept for the third and fourth stage.

“The fourth stage will now see riders starting to climb from the 20km mark until the 40km mark along Jalan Gap-Bukit Fraser before making their way to the peak of Bukit Fraser (1,250m elevation).”

The third stage will also feature a climb up to Cameron Highlands.

Genting Highlands has become synonymous with LTdL since its launch in 1996 and is always the race’s queen stage every time it has been included.

The hilltop resort was not included between 2015 and 2018 due to construction works being carried out there at the time.