11 foreign teams, 6 locals in Tour de Filipinas-A A +A
Thursday, March 22, 2012
MANILA - A total of 11 foreign teams, led by defending overall champion Iran, and six local squads will again flex muscles for the top prize in the four-lap 2012 Le Tour de Filipinas on April 14 in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
Gary Cayton, president of Dynamic Outsource Solutions, Inc., said the tour will start in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and will end at the Burnham Park in Baguio City passing through the Cordilleras in what is called the “Northern Alps.”
He’s the organizer of the only international race in the country that is on the Asia Tour Calendar of the Union Cycliste Internale (UCI).
In the 133.83-km Stage 4, from Nueva Viscaya to Baguio, the cyclists will undergo three treacherous climbs of not lower than 5,000 feet above sea level as they pass Aritao, Kayapa, Bokod near Luzon’s highest peak Mt. Pulag, Itogon and Ambuklao Dam.
Stage One is a 155.75-km. mass start from Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan to Tuguegarao City, which usually has the country’s highest temperature during summer, while the 109.43-km. Stage Two is from Tuguegarao to Cauayan City. Stage Three is a 102.52-km ride from Cauayan to Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya.
Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority, said they are supporting the 502-km race because cycling is one sport that can best showcase Filipino talents.
“On our part in the MMDA, we have to revive awareness that biking is the best mode of transportation. We are going to put up a bicycle lane here in Metro Manila, maybe starting next year,” said Tolentino, who also graced the launching at the Centennial Hall of the historic Manila Hotel yesterday.
Aside from Iran, which won the overall team crown last year courtesy of individual classification champion Rahim Emami and Farshad Salehian, other overseas teams seeing action are Taiwan’s CCN, Malaysia’s Terengganu, Singapore’s OCBC, Pure Black Racing team of New Zealand and Uzbekistan’s Suren team.
Also expected to shine are Plan B Racing team of Australia, Aisan Racing team of Japan, RTS/ Giant Kenda racing club of Taiwan, Colossi Miche of Indonesia and Dutch Global of the Netherland.
The locals will be spearheaded by last year’s third placer Smart along with Go21 team, LPGMA/American Vinyl, Mail and More, Kia Cycling team and Jinbei.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 22, 2012.