Victoria Sports Cycling Team, 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.
According to VSCT representative Pako Ochoa, 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.
The United Cycliste Internationale (UCI)-licensed team will be representing the Philippines in the international tournaments starting this year. Based in Aigle, Switzerland, the UCI is the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events.
The officers of the VSCT include Atty. Franco Lacandalo (Team Representative), Jobert Catina (Rider Care and Mechanic), Rayzon Galdonez (Assistant Sports Director), and Micael Isidoro (Sports Director).
The other members of the team are Jhay Oconer, Kelvin Mendoza, Márcio Barbosa, Luis Krog, Pedro Paulinho, Ochoa, Ean Cajucom, Mendes, Daniel Cariño, Jerry Aquino, and Cardoso.
One of the team’s goals, shared Ochoa, is to “regularly and actively represent the country in major international cycling tournaments in Asia and countries around the world.”
“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,” added the cyclist.
Tapping experienced world-class cyclists, explained Ochoa, “is one of the moves the team has made to help make VSCT internationally competitive.”
This, explained Ochoa, “is a tried and tested 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].”
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.
Established in 2010, Bora–Hansgrohe is a German UCI WorldTeam cycling team sponsored by BORA, a German manufacturer of extractor hoods and cooktops, and Hansgrohe, a bathroom fittings manufacturer. Also a UCI WorldTeam cycling team, Trek–Segafredo is licensed in the United States and was founded in 2011. Both teams have competed in top races like the Tour de France.
Accredited by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines, VSCT is owned by New San Jose Builders, Inc., and is also backed by San Miguel Corporation, Banco De Oro, SM, Tessie Sy-Coson, Grab Philippines, and Mr. Kevin Wong.
Other sponsors include Gruppo Innovare Corporation-Specialized Philippines, Neo Zigma Cycle Corporation-Shimano and PRO, Cofides Competição, Cebu Pacific, Rudy Project, Manuel L. Quezon University, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, VS Hotel, and Schroeder’s Deli.