MANILA, Philippines – The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has scheduled the fourth edition of the Le Tour de Filipinas from April 13 to 16 next year, according to race organizer Gary Cayton of the Dynamic Outsource Solutions, Inc.
Last April, Baler Ravina emerged as the first Filipino champion of the Le Tour de Filipinas, the only UCI-sanctioned race in the country.
The grueling four-stage race saw 10 foreign and five local teams of five cyclists each taking on the challenge from Sta. Ana, Cagayan to Baguio City via the treacherous backdoor route atop the Cordilleras.
Philcycling chairman Bert Lina and president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino expressed their full support for the 2013 race.
“This is a reaffirmation by the UCI of our competence and capabilities in organizing, managing and hosting an event that enjoys international status equal to similar events held in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and others,” Lina said in a statement.
“It is time our professional cyclists gear up for this event as Filipino riders will once again be competing with continental teams from all over Asia and probably from other European and American countries. I hope the Philippines proves its prowess in this field and is able to defend and retain the championship it won in April this year,” Tolentino added.
Already, teams from the Czech Republic have expressed interest in joining the event together with squads from Singapore, Japan, China and Indonesia.
Cayton expressed hope that more teams join the tour next year and provide the entertainment that this annual summer spectacle promises to give.
The 2013 race will kick off in Clark, Pampanga and will pass through Tarlac before reaching what is now known as the “Northern Alps” that starts from Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya to Baguio City.