Grueling 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas hits road | Inquirer Sports

Grueling 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas hits road

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 02:46 AM April 21, 2014

CLARK, Pampanga—A challenging course marked by a series of grueling climbs lay ahead for riders in the 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas which flags off Monday in this former United States air base.

Continental teams from Ireland, Iran, South Korea and Japan as well as professional clubs from Australia and Kazakhstan are among the 13 foreign squads that pose a serious threat to Filipino riders in their bid for supremacy in the four-day race.


Without a warm-up stage, the cyclists will be tested right in today’s kick-off leg, a 160-kilometer ride to Olongapo City made difficult by three mid-level climbs near the finish line in Morong, Bataan.

The two local teams bidding to overcome the foreign challenge are 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines and Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance.


Jonifer “Baler” Ravina, the 2012 Le Tour champion, and two-time Tour winner Mark Galedo spearhead the 7-Eleven squad while three-time winner Santy Barnachea, 2009 champion Joel Calderon and Lloyd Lucien Reynante have joined forces for the Navy-Standard Insurance.

The foreign teams are TSR of Iran, Polygon Sweet Nice of Ireland, Team Ukyo and Aisan Racing of Japan, Terengganu Cycling of Malaysia, KSPO of South Korea, PT Pegasus of Indonesia, CCN of Brunei and OCBC Cycling of Singapore.

The United Arab Emirates national team is also entered in the International Cycling Union-sanctioned (UCI) event along with Atilla Cycling Club of Mongolia, Satalyst Giant Racing Club of Australia) and Track Team Astana of Kazakhstan.

This year’s Le Tour, an advocacy of PhilCycling chair Bert Lina and presented by Air21, takes the riders to Cabanatuan City from Olongapo in the 170 km second stage tomorrow and to Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya, for the 146.6 km third stage before the deciding leg to Baguio City.

Stage 4 is a 134 km challenge to the country’s summer capital through the Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountain ranges, considered the hardest route to Baguio in local cycling.

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TAGS: Clark, Cycling, Jonifer Baler Ravina, Le Tour de Filipinas, Mark Galedo, Pampanga
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