MANILA, Philippines – The Dutch Global team flew in Wednesday morning from the Netherlands to become the early bird among the 11 foreign teams participating in the 2012 Le Tour de Filipinas that starts this Saturday.
According to Gary Cayton, president of the organizing group Dynamic Outsource Solutions, Inc. (Dos-1), the Dutch club team was also the first among the first foreign squads to indicate its intention to join the four-stage race.
“The Dutch team wanted to sort of acclimatize early, that’s why they booked an early flight,” said Cayton.
“We are all aware how hot it is up north, that’s why the foreigners would want to adopt to the weather,” he added.
Yesterday’s temperature in Cagayan was pegged at 33° C and is expected to remain in that vicinity on race days.
The other foreign squads will be flying in today and tomorrow. They are continental teams CCN (the Netherlands), Aisan Racing Team (Japan), OCBC (Singapore), Uzbekistan Suren (Uzbekistan), Action (Chinese-Taipei) and Tabriz Petrochemical (Iran).
The club teams, meanwhile, are Plan B (Australia), Pure Black (New Zealand) and Colossi Miche (Indonesia).
Indonesia is also sending its national team to the 2012 Le Tour.
Giant Kenda RTS, a continental team based in Chinese-Taipei, begged off at the last minute.
The foreign squads will be pitted against local teams Go21, Mail and More, Smart-PhilCycling National Team, American Vinyl/LPGMA and Kia.
Stage One of the Le Tour will start on Saturday with a 155-km ride from Sta. Ana, Cagayan to Tuguegarao City.
Stage Two on Sunday will be a 110-km ride from Tuguegarao to Cauayan City, while Stage Three will be 102-km from Cauayan City to Bayombong City.
Stage Four will be the dreaded 153-km climb on the so-called “Northern Alps” in the Cordilleras from Bayombong to Burnham Park in Baguio City.