Top Portuguese cyclists bolster new PH professional cycling team | Inquirer Sports

Top Portuguese cyclists bolster new PH professional cycling team

/ 07:23 PM January 17, 2023

Portugal's Andre Cardoso rides during a 23,5 km individual time-trial, the fourth stage of the 69th edition of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race on June 7, 2017 between La Tour-du-Pin and Bourgoin-Jallieu.

FILE–Portugal’s Andre Cardoso during Criterium du Dauphine cycling race on June 7, 2017. (Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines–Victoria Sports Cycling Team (VSCT), the newest Philippine professional cycling team, will feature top professional cyclists from Portugal in an effort to step up the training of Filipino professional cyclists and to help boost the team’s performance in international cycling tournaments.

The team’s roster “is composed of a mix of veteran riders and young up-and-coming athletes from the Philippines and Portugal” including two former World Tour riders, José Mendes and André Cardoso, according to the team representative Pako Ochoa.

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The other members of the team include Jhay Oconer, Kelvin Mendoza, Márcio Barbosa, Luis Krog, Pedro Paulinho, Ean Cajucom Daniel Cariño and Jerry Aquino.

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VSCT, a United Cycliste Internationale (UCI)-licensed team, will be representing the Philippines in international tournaments starting this year.

One of the team’s goals is “regularly and actively represent the country in major international cycling tournaments in Asia and countries around the world,” according to Ochoa.

“Ultimately our ambition is to produce a world-class team that will proudly wear the colors of our country and help raise the profile of cycling in the Philippines.”

Portugal's Jose Mendes rides during a 14,5 km individual time-trial, the fourth stage of the 75th edition of the Paris-Nice cycling race, between Beaujeu and Mont Brouilly, on March 8, 2017.

FILE–Portugal’s Jose Mendes during Paris-Nice cycling race on March 8, 2017. (Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP)

Ochoa also said that tapping experienced world-class cyclists “is one of the moves the team has made to help make VSCT internationally competitive” using a strategy “that has been used by other teams in the past.”

“If we want to keep up with the best cyclists in the world, we have to train and ride with the best cyclists in the world. These include the likes of José [Mendes] and André [Cardoso],” Ochoa said.

The two were former members of separate UCI WorldTeam cycling teams that have competed in top races like the Tour de France.

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Mendez is a former World Tour Rider for Bora-Hansgrohe and two-time national road champion of Portugal. Cardoso, on the other hand, is a former World Tour rider for Trek Segafredo.

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The team’s officers, meanwhile, include Atty. Franco Lacandalo (team representative), Jobert Catina (rider Care and mechanic), Rayzon Galdonez (assistant Sports Director), and Micael Isidoro (sports director).

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TAGS: UCI, Victoria Sports Cycling Team

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