Riders agree: Stage 2 could decide Le Tour champion
Riders and coaches in this year’s Le Tour de Filipinas all agreed that Stage 2 of the five-lap race will be the difference maker in the entire 822.2-kilometer race that comes off the road starting this weekend.
From defending champion El Joshua Carino to former title holder Mark Galedo, riders agreed that the 194.9-km ride from Pagbilao, Quezon, to Daet, Camarines Norte, may well be considered the “killer lap” of the Tour that is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
“There’s no Baguio-to-Baguio [stage] this year so Stage 2 will be the toughest,” Carino, the national team member who is gunning to become the first ever back-to-back champion of the Category 2.2 event sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI), said in Filipino.
“Because of the distcance, you can’t just attack the stage,” said Galedo, the 2014 champion and representing Celeste Cycle, in Filipino. “You have to be calculating when you attack.”
The two champion riders gave their outlook about the upcoming race at the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila, three days before the event kicks off in Tagaytay City on Friday for the 129.50-km Stage 1.
Meanwhile, Marcelo Felipe, who recently topped the PRURide Philippines 2019 Stage Race in Subic, did not discount the possibility either of the opening stage playing a crucial role in deciding this year’s champion.
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