LBC-MVP Sports Foundation (LBC-MVPSF) Cycling Pilipinas team was invited but declined to compete in this year’s Le Tour de Filipinas, citing a prior commitment abroad.
Organizing committee vice chairman Allan Gregorio said Le Tour invited LBC’s continental team to compete in the April 21 to 24 event but the squad begged off as it has a scheduled a trip abroad sometime between April and June.
LBC-MVPSF later bared through the Ronda Pilipinas Facebook account that it is already scheduled for training in Europe.
With LBC-MVPSF begging off, only Roadbike Philippines-7-11 and Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance which will fly the Philippine flag in this year’s four-stage cycling event sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
The two local teams will be pitted against 13 other continental teams including squads from Kazakhstan, Iran, Japan, and Mongolia in the 616-kilometer race from Clark to Baguio City.
Incidentally, the Le Tour is being backed by Air21, a rival company of LBC. Another cycling event in the country in Ronda Pilipinas is bankrolled by LBC.
Gregorio, however, said the non-participation by LBC has nothing to do with business rivalry as the company, through sports development chairman Moe Chulani, had vowed to join in next year’s Le Tour.
“Nagpapasalamat sila sa invitation and they will make sure na ica-calendar nila ang Le Tour next year,” said Gregorio.