Ravina now 30th among Asia’s best
PH No. 4 cycling countryBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MOUNTAIN specialist Baler Ravina improved his ranking to 30th among Asian cyclists while lifting the Philippines to No. 4 overall in the continent following his recent victory in the Le Tour de Filipinas, the only multistage race in the country sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale.
Ravina bested riders from 11 foreign clubs, including five UCI teams and was hailed by the website of the UCI as a “hero of the Philippines” for sparking a major shake-up in the continental rankings.
The other Filipino cyclists who made it to the UCI Asian rankings were Joel Calderon (No. 52), Oscar Rendole (58), Le Tour Best Young Rider 19-year-old Rustom Lim (91), John Mark Galedo Guevarra (102), Arnel Quirimit (105) and Irish Valenzuela (144).
Their combined rankings pushed the Philippines from 12th to fourth behind perennial leaders Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The Filipinos’ achievement has prompted Le Tour organizer Gary Cayton of the Dynamic Outsource to write Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr. to ask why cycling wasn’t included in the government’s list of focus sports.
“If you review the results of the Le Tour de Filipinas, you will note that the Philippines emerged as the overall winner, both in the individual and team categories,” Cayton wrote Cojuangco.