4 ex-champs in Tour of Luzon
Four former champions and six other elite riders have been tapped to lead the teams battling for honors in the Tour of Luzon which fires off April 13 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
Organized by Liquigaz and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association, the seven-day bikathon will feature 10 teams each composed of nine elite riders vying for fame and glory apart from the cash prizes at stake.
LPGMA president Arnel Ty said the teams will be skippered by former champions and perennial contenders with past Tour winners Arnel Quirimit, Warren Davadilla, Santy Barnachea and Rhyan Tanguilig seeking to add another entry into the Tour record books.
Tanguilig, winner of the Tour Pilipinas in 2004, heads Team Liquigaz while 2003 champion Quirimit and two-time winner Davadilla were tapped to lead the way for Happy Nuts and Regasco Group, respectively.
Other seasoned riders tasked to carry the leadership baton for their teams are Barnachea of Mobile Wonder/Magic Prints, Lloyd Reynante of American Vinyl, Merculio Ramos of My Photo, Dante Cagas (Road Bike Philippines), Baler Ravina (Team Tagaytay) and Joel Calderon (DPT Law), Joel Calderon (Geoetstae Development Corp.)
Besides the total cash pot of P2 million for team and individual winners, Ty said the top 12 riders will automatically earn slots to the national team under the leadership of Tagaytay City Mayor Bambol Tolentino, president of PhilCycling, the federation recognized by cycling’s world governing body UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale).
“These riders are all aching to get back on the road. Liquigaz has gone out of its way not only to keep them competitive, but also to help them earn as professional cyclists,” said Ty.
Executive riders also get a share of the limelight with the staging of executive races during the last three stages of the Tour starting with the Cabanatuan City to Baguio City leg. The executive riders will also negotiate the penultimate Baguio-Baguio lap before joining the final stage on Macapagal Highway.
The Philippine National Cycling Association headed by Paquito Rivas will manage the Tour, which had a series qualifying races in Tagaytay City and Macapagal Highway.
Other sponsors include Victory Liner and Tour of Luzon Bike & Cafe, a haven for cyclists at the Asiana Powerstation on Macapagal Highway being managed by two-time Tour champion Renato Dolosa. It is also the official bike supplier of the event.
Firing off in Quezon City, the riders will travel to Lucena City and test the rolling terrain on the way to Tagaytay City the following day. The Tour will proceed to Marikina City on the third day before making its way to Cabanatuan City.
From Cabanatuan, the cyclists ride to Baguio City before plunging into the penultimate lap, the figure-eight race from Baguio to Baguio.
(grabbed from Manila Bulletin)