NINETEEN continental teams and three cycling clubs from abroad are looking to see action in the seventh edition of the Le Tour de Filipinas, the only International Cycling Union (UCI)-calendared road race in the country.
Teams from United States, Europe and all over Asia have applied for participation in the February 18 to 21 event.
Looking to join for the first time in the Le Tour de Filipinas are continental teams Minsk Cycling Club (Belarus), Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team (United Arab Emirates), Team Sauerland p/b Henley & Partners (Germany), Team LVShan Landscape (China), GM Cycling Team (Italy), Dynamo Cover Pro Cycling Team (France), Kinan Cycling Team (Japan), Kenyan Riders Down Under (South Africa), Team Veral Classic (Belgium) and Alpha Baltic Maratoni Cycling Team (Latvia).
Seeking to return to action on Philippine soil are Team Ukyo (Japan), Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team (Japan), Team Novo Nordisk (USA), LX Cycling Team (Korea), Team Arbo Denzel Cliff (Austria), CCN Cycling Team (Laos), Dutch Global Cycling Team (Netherlands), Korail Cycling Continental Team (Korea), Attaque Team Gusto (Taiwan) and Pegasus Continental Cycling Team (Indonesia).
Club teams from Britain (Archive Northside Skinnergate Team) Lithuania (Team Baltik Vairas) and Australia (Oliver’s Real Food Racing Team) are also lured to the Le Tour de Filipinas.
“We get requests for invitation from all over the world in each edition of the Le Tour de Filipinas,” Donna Lina, president of the organizing Ube Media Inc., said on Wednesday.
“This goes to show that racing in the Philippines is not only about the level of competition, but also the fun that the event brings with it.”
“The Le Tour de Filipinas has the promotion of cycling as its primary objective, but the same premium is focused on promoting the Philippines as a tourist destination,” Lina added.
Three Philippine teams—7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines (continental), PhilCycling National Under-23 Team and Cebu Cycling Team (club)—are also seeking to be invited the Category 2.2 race (multi-stage road race) that covers close 600 kilometers from Antipolo City in Rizal Province to Legaspi City in Albay with the majestic Mayon Volcano as backdrop to the final two stages.
Stage One on February 18 will be from Antipolo City to Lucena City in Quezon Province, while Stage Two will start from Lucena City and end in Daet, Camarines Norte. Stage Three will fire off from Daet and end in Legaspi City and Stage Four will be an out-and-back race in Legaspi City with the cyclists racing the perimeter of Mayon Volcano.