KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia National Cycling Federation (MNCF) has made it clear that they will not support any motion to change the name of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL).

MNCF vice president Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill said LTdL has already firmly established itself as reputable international race over the years and that suggestions to rename the race were uncalled for.

Langkawi member of Parliament Datuk Suhaimi Abdullah had earlier this month suggested that LTdL should be renamed the Le Tour de Malaysia or Le Tour de Madani.

This is because the race will not enter its namesake island this year to save costs.

“I don’t agree (to change the name) because this race is already well known worldwide,” said Amarjit today.

“LTdL has created a strong brand image since it was launched in 1996. This is something we have to maintain.

“If we changed the name then we would have to start from scratch (branding-wise).

“If there is already very strong branding why would you want to change the name. Have you ever heard any talk about Mercedes (car manufacturer) wanting to change its name?

“The Tour de France race also goes to other (neighbouring) countries but nobody has mentioned anything about changing the name of the tour.

“All these rumours about changing the name of LTdL is just talk. Yes it was mentioned in Parliament but maybe that is just politics, let’s not go there.

“MNCF will always support that the LTdL name remains.”

Amarjit was speaking after attending a press conference to announce Tourism Malaysia as the main sponsor for this year’s LTdL (Sept 23-30) in Bukit Jalil today.

Tourism Malaysia is contributing RM1 million in cash and are also supporting the event from a promotional perspective.

The king of the mountains (polka dot) jersey will also be sponsored by Tourism Malaysia who have been a strong supporter of the race since it was launched in 1996.