No less than 17 countries led by powerhouse Poland, Germany and Netherlands will compete in the 7th edition of the World University Cycling Championship (WUCC 2016) which will be held March 16-20 in Tagaytay City.
The four-day championship, to be contested for the first time outside Europe, is sanctioned by both the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the International University Sports Federation (FISU).
Luis Miguel Loureiro, UCI commissaire and FISU technical director for cycling, said this year’s WUCC would feature four main races along the Tagaytay City—Batangas route: the 122-km. Road Race; the 80-km. Criterium; the 35-km Cross Country Olympic; and, the 1.2-km. Cross Country Eliminator.
Loureiro, in town to assess the condition of the race venues, praised the efforts of the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) to stage a truly world class cycling event.
FESSAP, headed by businessman David Ong, is the National University Sports Federation which outbid other countries for the right to give WUCC a memorable introduction in Asia and the Pacific.
For Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina, a well-known patron of Philippine cycling, hosting this international cycling competition “is a dream come true.” Lina, overall chair of WUCC 2016, said staging this 7th edition of WUCC in the country will generate a lot of benefits, the most important of which is its potential to inspire university students to take their passion for cycling to a higher level.
According to Ong, WUCC 2016 “is part of FESSAP’s continuing effort to revive interest in competitive cycling in the Philippines and catalyze, in the process, the transformation of Filipino bikers into cyclists equipped with upgraded technical skills.”
Christian Tan, FESSAP vice-president, revealed that the final lineup of the Philippine contingent would be announced in two weeks’ time as two more tryouts would be held today (Jan. 24) in Silang, Cavite for mountain bikers and on Jan. 31 in Pillilia, Rizal for road racers.
Tan made it clear that the tryouts would be open only to cyclists enrolled in educational institutions recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
“This is in keeping with FISU and FESSAP’s advocacy of encouraging athletes to get an education during their prime so they may have an even chance for a secure and stable future when their playing days are over,” Tan added.
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