THE fabled Hinulugang Taktak in Antipolo City, Bagasbas Beach in Daet and Tatlong Eme in Atimonan in Quezon Province that includes the so-called Magnetic Hill at Km. 155. And of course, Mayon Volcano in Legaspi City in Albay.
These are just a few notable landmarks — tourist attractions — the close to 400-strong 2016 Le Tour de Filipinas entourage would be seeing when the seventh edition of the Union Cycliste Internationale race on the Asia Tour hits the road starting on Thursday in Antipolo City.
The sporting component of the Le Tour de Filipinas presented by Air21 is tops on the priorities of race organizer Ube Media Inc., but also very important is the sports tourism aspect that rides on the four-stage cycling spectacle featuring 12 foreign teams and three local squads.
“Cycling as a sport has always been the advocacy of Air21 and Ube Media Inc., but with it is the promotion of the Philippines as a major tourist attraction,” Ube Media Inc. President and Le Tour de Filipinas chairman Donna Lina said on Tuesday.
“In the six editions of the Le Tour, the attractions of Central and Northern Luzon were promoted intensely by the race. This time, we are headed down south where Southern Luzon and Bicol would be at center stage, featuring a different yet equally picturesque attractions,” Lina added.
The 75 cyclists plus managers and staff are billeted at three resorts in Antipolo City.
UCI procedures, including the License Check and Team Managers Meeting, are scheduled Wednesday afternoon before the Welcome Ceremony and Dinner at the Hinulugang Taktak.
The race fires off at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday at Sumulong Park start in front of the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage and Antipolo City Hall. The 148.97-kilometer stage will finish in front of the Lucena City Hall.
Stage Two on Friday from Lucena City to Daet will cover 204.82 km and Stage Three on Saturday from Daet to Legaspi City in Albay is 185.79-km long. Mayon Volcano will be a majectic backdrop in the two-loop Legaspi-Legaspi 160.20-km Stage Four on Sunday.