ANTIPOLO CITY — As the most consistent local rider in his squad, Marcelo Felipe is being tagged the top home bet for the 7-Eleven Sava RBP in this year’s Le Tour de Filipinas.
7-Eleven Sava RBP team manager Ric Rodriguez said Felipe’s strong finish in past races show he is now one of the riders to watch and has a good chance to become the third Filipino rider to win the only Philippine race sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale.
Jesse James Ewart of Australia and Edgar Nieto of Spain are also riding for 7-Eleven, which also boasts talented local riders in 2012 champion Baler Ravina and Nelson Martin, but Rodriguez sees Felipe as the top local bet.
“Marcelo Felipe is a new rising star in the Philippines considering that in the last three races that we joined last year, he is always in the podium which means nananalo,” said Rodriguez.
The 26-year-old Felipe finished third in a stage during the Tour of Singkarak and Tour of Borneo, and wound up sixth in the general classification. Ravina, meanwhile, is preparing to ride in Tour de Langkawi.
Rodriguez said 7-Eleven is also confident a good placing in the team classification.
“The team is capable. We have seen in the last quarter of last year where we almost won the races that we joined. We are looking to be the best Asian team and hopefully be in the top five overall. It will be a tough competition since there are teams who are joining the likes of Tour de France and Giro de Italia, aside from the pro continental teams,” said Rodriguez.