FOR the first time in a decade, Filipino riders will compete in the prestigious Le Tour de Langkawi as Mark Galedo leads the 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines squad in the event set February 24 to March 2.
Galedo, the highest-ranked Filipino in the UCI Asia Tour rankings, will be joined by Baler Ravina, Jay Lampawog, Marcelo Felipe, and Spanish riders Edgar Nieto and Angel Vazquez.
7-Eleven Road Bike’s appearance this year will be the first time a Philippine-based cycling team will see action in the Tour de Langkawi since the Pagcor trade team in 2005, according to 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines team director Ric Rodriguez.
The multi-stage race in Malaysia is one of the top-rated events in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar. This year’s Tour de Langkawi will have eight stages with a distance of 1,180.8 kilometers.
Rodriguez said Galedo’s earlier decision not to see action in the Le Tour de Filipinas set February 18 to 21 due to Langkawi could still change. Other members of the 7-Eleven squad will compete in the only UCI-sanctioned race in the Philippines.
“Galedo opted not to join Le Tour to prepare for Langkawi. But that could still change,” said Rodriguez.
The 30-year-old Galedo, the best Southeast Asian rider in the UCI Asia Tour at No. 30 at the end of 2015, is coming off a third-place finish in the Tour of Borneo last year.