BALANGA, Bataan – Mark Galedo has been forced to take a U-turn even before the race began.
The defending Le Tour de Filipinas individual champion will still suit up for 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines, after all, as his expected move to the Philcycling national men’s team was thwarted at the last minute due to a technicality.
Tournament commissars confirmed the development on Saturday in a stunning turn of events on the eve of the start of the sixth edition of the international race.
Foreign teams contested Galedo's move in the manager’s meeting, citing an article in the UCI rules basically stating that if a continental team is joining a race, the riders that are contracted to the team can’t also ride for the national team in the same race.
The rule is meant to keep a continental team from virtually having more than its listed players competing in a race, which is deemed as an undue advantage.
“But it’s not really a big, big issue in a sense that Mac is still ready to go,” national coach Chris Allison insisted. “It’s just that he’s going to be wearing a different jersey.”
“Both the Philippine team and the 7-Eleven team are still going to be working together to, whatever happens, make sure that we do as we well as we can for the country,” the American mentor was quick to add.
Jerry Aquino Jr. is set to fill Galedo’s spot in the national team, while the relegated cyclist from 7-Eleven has yet been announced as of posting time.