LE Tour de Filipinas holds its ninth edition in February with the island province of Catanduanes hosting stages for the first time in the Union Cycliste Internationale Asia Tour race.
The Category 2.2 event is scheduled February 18 to 21, with 15 squads, mostly foreign-based Continental Teams, again seeing action.
Stages One (February 18) and Two (February 19) will be raced in out-and-back courses in Catanduanes’s capital of Virac — the first on a hilly 158.97-kilometer route in the provinces eastern side marked with three King of the Mountain points and the second a winding 134.95-km ride on the western side.
The next two stages will again traverse Albay and Sorsogon.
Stage Three on February 20 will cover 166.85 km from Legaspi City to Sorsogon City passing through Bulusan. Stage Four on February 21 will be a 209.17-km grind that will see the riders pedaling around Mayon Volcano.
Catanduanes is the birth place of the late Jose Sumalde, one of only four Filipino cyclists who won the fabled Philippine Tour for consecutive years, topping the races in 1964 and 65.
Race organizer Ube Media Inc. said the 400-strong race entourage will fly directly to either Virac or Legaspi City where they will travel by land to Tabaco City to take a ferry across the Maqueda Channel to San Andres in Catanduanes.