Oconer: Country or club duty?
National rider George Oconer is torn between racing for the Philippine flag and for his club team in a lucrative local race.
The dilemma for the son of two-time Olympian Norberto Oconer surfaced after the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines threatened the national riders with expulsion the moment they compete in the forthcoming Ronda Pilipinas.
PhilCycling secretary general Avelino Sumagui said the federation was forced to issue the memorandum due to conflicts in schedule.
The 15-stage Ronda Pilipinas is set Feb. 2 to March 4 while Le Tour takes off with its four-day race on Feb. 18.
“These two races always collide despite our plea for Ronda to change their race dates,” said Sumagui. “We are obligated to field our team with the Le Tour considering it to be a UCI race. However, our cyclists have always preferred Ronda because of the bigger prize.”
The younger Oconer recently signed up with local club team Go for Gold.