National cyclists dreaming of Tokyo 2020
Determined to send a Filipino cyclist to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Go For Gold Philippines Continental Team has lined up a series of international races this year in an effort to accomplish that goal.
Led by Olympic aspirants Ismael Grospe and Jonel Carcueva, the team will compete in the five-stage Tour de Iskandar in Johor, Malaysia, and in 10 other races that offer Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) ranking points.
Go For Gold project director Ednalyn Hualda said the schedule includes the national cycling championships in May and the Le Tour de Filipinas in June where a wealth of points for Tokyo will be given away.
Also included in their calendar are various multistage races in Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, all of which are UCI-sanctioned races.
“Our goal is not only to develop our Filipino riders, but also to gain points for them to earn the chance of representing the country in the Olympics,” said Go For Gold patron Jeremy Go.
They finished fourth overall in the UCI-recognized Ronda Pilipinas last week among 15 teams and placed third overall among Filipino squads behind 7Eleven Road Bike Philippines and Navy Standard Insurance.
“We have a full exposure this year with 12 international races on schedule. This should help our riders earn more points,” said Hualda.
Grospe seized the best young rider award in the under-23 category while Elmer Navarro, Boots Ryan Cayubit, Daniel Ven Carino and Carcueva made a statement in the five-day Ronda despite losing team captain Ronnel Hualda due to a stomach ailment during the opening stage.
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