The exciting 4-stage cycling event dubbed as the Le Tour de Filipinas in Luzon kicks off next month. Now on its 7th year, the four-day sporting competition starts on the 18th from Antipolo City and ends in Legazpi city.
Stage One of the race will test 75 cyclists negotiating a rolling 153-kilometer ride from Antipolo City to Lucena City in Quezon on the first day.
Stage Two will cover 204 km of pedaling from Lucena to Daet, Camarines Norte on Feb. 19.
Stage Three will be the 187-km ride from Daet to Legazpi City.
Stage Four begins on Feb. 21, as cyclists bike around Mount Mayon 360 degrees passing through the towns of Sto. Domingo, Bacacay, Malilipot, Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga and the cities of Tabaco, Ligao and Legazpi. The stage will cover 147 km.
Event organzier Ube Media Inc said that 75 cyclists from 15 teams with five riders each, 12 foreign and three local are vying in the ICU Category 2.2 race covering 700 kilometers.
The 13 foreign and 3 local cycling squads are 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines Cycling Team (Philippines), Attaque Team Gusto (Taiwan), Black Inc Cycling Team (Laos), Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team (Japan), Global Cycling Team (Netherlands), Jorail Cycling Team (South Korea),
Kopiko Cebu Cycling Team Philippines), LX IIBS Cycling Team (South Korea), Minsk Cycling ClubTeam MCC- BLR (Belarus), Novo Nordisk Team (United States), Philippine Team, SkyDive Dubai Pro Cycling Team (United Arab Emirates), Team Sauerland p/b Henley & Partners (Germany), Team Ukyo (Japan), Terengganu Cycling Team (Malaysia)
The franchise holder of the Tour De Filipinas is Air21 after it bought the rights from Marlboro Cigarette Co., the tour owner of the Tour of Luzon and Marlboro Tour. The chairman and president of Air21 is Rudy Fulo, who hails from Bulusan of Sorsogon province.
Among the noted cyclists that won the Tour of Luzon include: Jose Sumalde, a Bicolano and a native of Catanduanes tagged as the “Eagle of the Mountain”; Paquito Rivas, currently Tour Filipinas tour director; Manuel Reynante and Jacinto Sicam.
It is expected the event will attract enthusiasts and tourists to legazpi and Albay. (with PNA report)