Le Tour de Filipinas, the country’s premier cycling spectacle, pedals tomorrow from Legaspi City in Albay to Sorsogon.
The Le Tour, putting the Philippines on the spot anew on the world cycling map is the only International Cycling Union (UCI) road race in the country and is the kick off race of the Asia Tour season.
Tagaytay City Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, president of the national sports association for the sport, PhilCycling, acknowledged the importance of the race.
“Again it is an honor for the country through the Le Tour de Filipinas to host this annual UCI-sanctioned race participated by international cyclists,” Tolentino said in a statement.
“The race not only tests our Filipino riders but to watch the skills of the foreign cyclists and to promote tourism,” he said.
Organizers said all teams have been accounted for the race with 75 cyclists warming up on the Albay capital’s roads and the majestic Mayon Volcano as backdrop.
Tomorrow, the cyclists will be flagged off at 8 a.m. by Ube Media President Donna May Lina, Legaspi City Mayor Noel Rosal, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara and PhilCycling Chairman Bert Lina for the 164.49-km Legaspi City to Sorsogon Stage One.
Sunday’s Stage Two of the event will cover 177.35 kms from Sorsogon to Daet while Stage Three on Monday is interestingly also 177.35 kms from Sorsogon to Naga City.
The 15 teams -- 13 foreign and two locals -- will wrap up their campaign with the long 210-km northward Stage Four from Daet to Lucena City.
The Philippine National Team and 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines will lead the local challenge against foreign squads Kinan Cycling Team (Japan), Team Ukyo (Japan), Bridgrestone Anchor Cycling Team (Japan), Terengganu Cycling Team (Malaysia), LX Pro Cycling Team (South Korea), Uzbekistan National Team, CCN Cycling Team (Laos), Keyi Look Sport Cycling Team (China), United Arab Emirates National Team, Attaque Team Gusto (Chinese Taipei), Kuwait Cartucho.ES (Kuwait) and Sapura Cycling Team (Malaysia).*PNA
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