Philippine cycling as a brand returns on the global stage this time for five days when the Le Tour de Filipinas celebrates its 10th year from June 14 to 18 flagging off from soothing and scenic Tagaytay City and ending with the majestic and enchanting Mayon Volcano as the backdrop.
From four stages in all of the International Cycling Union (UCI) 2.2 race’s first nine years, the 2019 edition will be five days, kicking off with the 129.50 kms Tagaytay City-Tagaytay City out-and-back Stage 1 on June 14. Next up on June 15 will be the 194.90 kms Stage 2 from Pagbilao, Quezon, to Daet, Camarines, Norte, and the 183.70 kms Stage 3 on June 16 from Daet to Legaspi City where Mayon Volcano and its majestic splendor welcome the arrival of the 15 teams—five local and 10 international—composed of 75 riders.
The last two stages will be out-and-back courses from Legaspi City. Stage 4 will cover 176.00 kms via Sorsogon and Gubat in Sorsogon, followed by a highly technical Stage 5 over 145.80 kms passing through Sorsogon’s quaint coastal town of Donsol made famous all over the world by the gentle swimming giant butanding.
“For nine years, the Le Tour de Filipinas has never ceased to achieve its purpose—promote cycling not only as a sport, but as a way of life. And on the 10th year, the mission remains as fervent as ever,” said Alberto Lina, who in 2002 revived the Philippine Tour after going inactive for three years
The Le Tour de Filipinas is the forerunner of the fabled Philippine Tour that took many names from the historic Manila-Vigan inaugurals in 1954 to the last of 22 long Marlboro Tour years in the Centennial International Cycling Union-sanctioned Centennial Tour in 1998.
In 2002, businessman-sportsman Lina took over the cudgels and bankrolled what is now called the Le Tour de Filipinas, an advocacy and support that is 19years and counting for the former president now PhilCycling chairman.
El Joshua Carino will be back to defend his title riding for the Philippine National Team-Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance squad. He will be joined in the challenge by former champion Marc Galedo of 7-Eleven Air 21 Roadbike Philippines.