THE eighth edition of the Le Tour de Filipinas fires off on Saturday with 75 cyclists beginning battle in Stage 1 from Legaspi City in Albay to Sorsogon.
The Le Tour de Filipinas is the only International Cycling Union (UCI) road race in the country and is the kick-off race of the Asia Tour season.
The 15 teams — 13 foreign and two locals — race 164.49-kilometer race in Stage One.
Sunday’s Stage Two will cover 177.35km from Sorsogon to Daet, while Stage Three on Monday is interestingly also 177.35km from Sorsogon to Naga City.
The riders wrap up their campaign with the 210-km northward Stage Four from Daet to Lucena City.
The cyclists will be flagged off at 8 a.m. by Ube Media President Donna May Lina, Legaspi City Mayor Noel Rosal, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara and PhilCycling Chairman Bert Lina.
Tagaytay City Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, president of the national sports association for the sport, PhilCycling, acknowledged the importance of the race organized by Ube Media Inc. and presented by Air21.
“Again it is an honor for the country through the Le Tour de Filipinas to host this annual UCI-sanctioned race participated by international cyclists,” Tolentino said.
“The race not only tests our Filipino riders but to watch the skills of the foreign cyclists and to promote tourism.”