MANILA, Philippines -- The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has again approved the inclusion of the Le Tour de Filipinas (Tour of the Philippines) on the Asia Tour calendar in 2011.
The Le Tour de Filipinas, also held under the auspices of the Asian Cycling Confederation and the ASEAN Cycling Association, is scheduled on April 16 to 19.
The four-stage race will again feature at least four UCI continental teams vying against the Philippines’ best cyclists, as well as club teams from Asia and the rest of the world.
Last year, Ireland’s David McCann topped the inaugural staging of the Le Tour de Filipinas.
McCann, a former Tour of Ireland champion and riding for Taiwan-based Giant Asia, ruled the four-day race that included stages in Tagaytay City, Manila (Roxas Boulevard) and Subic.
A brainchild of former PhilCycling President Bert Lina, the Le Tour de Filipinas is one of 27 races on the 2011 calendar of the UCI’s Asia Tour.
The Le Tour put the Philippines back on the world cycling map after more than a decade. The Philippines was on the radar of the world’s top cycling teams when the Marlboro Tour went international from 1996 to 1998 through the efforts of now UCI president Pat McQuaid.
At least four European teams and Marco Polo, perhaps the most competitive continental squad in Asia, have already asked to be invited to the 2011 Le Tour de Filipinas.