BGC Cycle Philippines caps a three-day cycling festival with rides topbilled by three-time Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen of Australia on Sunday.
Cycle Asia Ambassador McEwen, the best sprinter of the Tour de France in 2002, 2004 and 2006, answers the starting gun for the 40-kilometer “Ride with Robbie” Challenge from Bonifacio Global City to Luneta via Buendia Avenue and Roxas Boulevard and back to BGC.
BGC Cycle Philippines, which has drawn a total of 2,300 participants, is the latest addition to the 2013 Cycle Asia calendar. Cycle Asia is the network of cycling events that offers cyclist the rare opportunity to ride in major Asian cities in safe, partially closed routes.
Also on tap in the event put up by BGC and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. are The Community Ride (20K and 40K), The Challenge, and the Foldies Community Ride, a 40-K ride using folding bikes.
BGC Cycle Philippines fired off Saturday with kids taking the spotlight. Flagged off were the Tricycle Ride (100-meters for ages two to three and 500 meters for ages four to five), The Kids Ride (for ages six to 10, with the option of riding by themselves or as part of a parent-child team), and Junior Challenge (for ages 10 to 12 with the objective of riding as fast as possible for 30 minutes).
The opening of a cycling and lifestyle expo at Seda Hotel Satin Room formally ushered in BGC Cycle Philippines on Friday with McEwen, SEI chairman and president Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Spectrum managing director Chris Robb, Firefly Brigade president Karen Crisostomo and SEI head of operations Neville Manaois in attendance.
"I'm looking forward to ride on Sunday," said McEwen, who also donated the green jersey he won in the 2002 Tour de France for worldwide online auction, with the proceeds going to funds for victims of super typhoon Yolanda.
"SEI's goal is to stage world-class events and promote a healthy lifestyle among families," said Uytengsu, whose company organizes the annual Ironman Philippines, Xterra and IronKids events. "We have seen the growth of triathlon and running and we see cycling to be moving in the same direction."
Owned and organized by Spectrum Worldwide, Cycling Asia has already staged two events in 2013- OCBC Cycle Malaysia and OCBC Cycle Singapore, which attracted over 5,000 and 11,500 participants, respectively.
"We are delighted to be expanding Cycle Asia to the Philippines and we look forward to working alongside Sunrise Events who have built an outstanding reputation for delivering first-class sporting events," said Robb.
Other backers of the event, also held for the benefit of the Firefly Brigade, are F2P, Felt Bicycles, Garmin, Gatorade, Intercare, Lexus, Manila Water, The Philippine STAR, Red Garlic, Rudy Project, Seda Hotel, Walter Bread, and MMDA.