MANILA, Philippines – PhilCycling President Abraham Bambol” Tolentino said the third staging of the Le Tour de Filipinas is proof of the global cycling stage’s recognition of the Philippines’ contribution to the continuous development of cycling.
The 2012 Le Tour is set April 14 to 17, with the first stage kicking off in Sta. Ana, Cagayan, and the final stage finishing at Burnham Park in Baguio City.
“It is with great pride and honor that I, on behalf of the Philippine cycling community, would like to extend my congratulations to the organizers of the Le Tour de Filipinas, the Dynamic Outsource Solutions, Inc. [Dos-1], for staging the third edition of the only local race that is on the Asia Tour calendar of the Union Cycliste Internationale [UCI],” said Tolentino in a statement.
“It is not very easy to organize a multi-stage road race, and having it sanctioned by the UCI for that matter. But because of the vision of Dos-1, the cycling world would be focusing on the Philippines for four days in April, thus keeping the flames burning for the annual summer sports spectacle that the Filipino fan has enthusiastically followed for more than half a century now,” added Tolentino.
The race is presented by Air21 in partnership with Smart and supported by Chinese automobile makers Foton and Jinbei.
The first stage on April 14 will cover 155 kms, from Port Irene in Sta. Ana to Tuguegarao City.
The second stage of the race, backed by WetShop (official wear), Airphil Express (official airline) and dzRH (official radio), will be 110 kms from Tuguegarao to Cauayan City.
The third stage on April 16 will be a 102-km ride to Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
After three days of sprints, the 85 cyclists, representing 12 foreign and five local teams, shift their focus and strength to maximum gear as they pedal on steep 40- to 45-percent climbs on the Cordilleras toward Burnham Park via the backdoor in Benguet Province, a distance of 153 kms.
Tolentino also noted the challenge Filipino riders will be putting up against the foreign riders, most of whom are noted international campaigners and the best in the continent.
“The foreign opposition may be that tough, tougher to be more precise, but the Le Tour de Filipinas definitely gives our local cycling heroes the opportunity to match skills and grit with some of the world’s best in a sport where heart, inspiration and dedication play a major role,” he said.