Le Tour standouts may make nat'l team

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 15 2014 03:06 PM | Updated as of Apr 15 2014 11:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas will play a major role in determining the members of the national team that will participate in the cycling competitions of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon later this year.

According to PhilCycling president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, the top Filipino finishers in the 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas will have one wheel into the national pool for the Asian Games, set from September 19 to October 4 in the Korean city.

“The Le Tour de Filipinas has always been a determinant on how strong our cyclists are, because it is an international race participated in not only by the best cyclists in Asia, but also potent riders from around the world,” said Tolentino.

Fifteen teams are seeing action in the 2014 Le Tour de
Filipinas, which kicks off next Monday. Thirteen of the teams are foreign, with 10 continental or professional teams registered in the International Cycling Union (UCI).

The continental teams are based in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Ireland and Iran. There are also three clubs from Mongolia, Australia and Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates national team.

Only two local teams are entered—7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines and Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance—in the race supported by Smart, NLEX, SCTEX, TPLEX, BCDA, Petron and Victory Liner, but they are packed with the cream of the crop of Philippine cycling, including 2012 Le Tour de Filipinas winner Jonifer “Baler” Ravina.

Co-organized by UBE media, the 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas also has as major partners Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino, Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara, Nueva Vizcaya Governor Ruth Rana Padilla and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan.

Irishman David McCann won the inaugurals in 2010. Iran’s Rahim Emami triumphed in 2011 and former Asia No. 1 Ghader Mizbani also of Iran prevailed last year.