Baguio City up for Le Tour de Pilipinas-A A +A
Monday, March 18, 2013
CYCLING takes center stage in the Summer Capital anew with the fourth Le Tour de Pilipinas pedals off on April 13 featuring crack riders from 20 foreign and local teams vying for top honors in the fabled tour included in the international cycling calendar.
Firing of from April 13 to 16, Stage 1 will start in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte and will end in Aparri, Cagayan covering 180 kilometers while the 200-kilometer stretch of stage 2 will start in Aparri and will end at Cauyan City in Isabela.
Bikers then take the 104-kilometer stage three which ends in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya before the final ascent to Baguio City covering 132 kilometers which is the culminating but expectedly dramatical stage to pass through what is to be called the “Northern Alps,” a mountain-top ride on the Cordilleras that approaches the Summer Capital from the back door.
“We are ready to welcome once again the influx of cyclist from all over the world including our country in the annual tour. Rest assured that the city will readily give assistance to the entourage,” said Mayor Mauricio Domogan during a press briefing.
A total of 130 cyclists are competing in the four-day, 608.20-kilometer race sanctioned by Switzerland- based International Cycling Union and Philcycling and supported by Philippine Sports Commission, Department of Tourism and Metropolitan Manila Department Authority.
Of the 20 foreign teams seeing action, four will come from Europe Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Portugal and the rest from Asia.
Other foreign teams are Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Singapore, Mongolia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, and Brunei.
Australia, Taiwan and Iran have two teams each. This will be the first time Australia is competing in Le Tour.
The local teams are Philippine National team, Navy/Standard, American Vinyl, LBC-MVPSF, Marines Cycling, and 7/11 of Bong Sual and Ric Rodriguez.
Reigning champion Baler Ravina will lead the local challenge with the 31-year-old from Asingan, Pangasinan winning the Eagle of the Mountain twice in 2007 and 2009. (Roderick Osis)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 19, 2013.