LE Tour de Filipinas, the only International Cycling Union road race in the country, returns to Southern Luzon in 2017 with its eighth edition set from February 18 to 21.
The UCI officially announced the Le Tour de Filipinas 2017 schedule during the UCI World Championships and Management Committee meeting in Doha in October.
“It is with pride that we are again conducting the Le Tour de Filipinas, proof that the UCI and PhilCycling have continually bestowed their trust and confidence that our organization, Ube Media Inc., conforms to standards for an international road race,” said Donna Lina, president of race organizer Ube Media Inc.
For 2017, Le Tour de Filipinas will carry the slogan “8’s Amazing” to emphasize on the race’s strong appeal as part of the UCI Asia Tour calendar.
The four-stage race will cover practically the same route last year when 75 cyclists raced from Antipolo City to Lucena City in Quezon, to Daet in Camarines Norte and to Legaspi City with the majestic Mayon Volcano as backdrop.
This early, three continental teams have already signified their intentions to participate in the race. Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team and Kinan Cycling Team, both registered in Japan, and Nice Cycling, an Indonesian-Swiss organization are looking to battle other international and local squads.
Fifteen teams annually compete in the Le Tour de Filipinas. Last year, three local teams—continental team 7 Eleven-Sava Road Bike Philippines, Philippine National Team and club team Kopiko Cebu—competed against 12 foreign squads.
Oleg Zemlyakov won last year’s Le Tour de Filipinas as a 22-year-old under the banner of Kazakhstan-registered Vino4ever Sko Cycling Team. Zemlyakov used the Le Tour de Filipinas to hone for the UCI Pro Team Astana, a regular in the cycling grand tours Vuelta a Espana, Giro de Italia and Tour de France.
Ireland’s David McCann won Le Tour de Filipinas in 2010 followed by Iran’s Rahim Emami (2011), Filipino rider Baler Ravina (2012), Iran’s Ghader Mizbani (2013), Filipino cyclist Mark Galedo (2014) and France’s Thomas Lebas (2015).