Cycling left out of focus sports programs

Posted at 05/15/2012 12:01 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The organizer of the recently concluded Le Tour de Filipinas is lamenting the exclusion of cycling from the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) list of 10 focus sports under its 2011-2016 Philippine Sports Roadmap.

Le Tour organizer Gary Cayton of Dynamic Outsource Solutions, Inc., sent a letter to Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr., expressing his disappointment over the exclusion of cycling from the PSC’s focus-sports program.

Cayton said they were surprised that President Benigno Aquino III “failed to mention cycling as one of the sports events that the PSC identified in its 10-sport ‘focus’ program” during his speech at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Palarong Pambansa.

Aquino pledged to support the following sports: boxing, taekwondo, athletics, swimming, archery, wrestling, weightlifting, wushu, billiards and bowling.

“If you review the results of this year’s Le Tour de Filipinas, you will note that the Philippines emerged as the overall winner, both in the individual and team categories,” said Cayton.

Baler Ravina was the winner of the 2012 Le Tour de Filipinas, becoming the first Filipino ever to win a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) multi-stage race.

American Vinyl/LPGMA captured the team title with a total clocking of 40:28:48 in the race.

“This, in itself, is a record that has not been obtained since 2010 (the Le Tour inaugurals),” Cayton added. “These achievements are considered more significant as these were gained despite the challenge presented by 11 foreign teams, which included top two Asian teams and the best Asian rider listed in the UCI.”

“Clearly, the Philippines’ victory demonstrates and presents the ability of the Filipino road cyclists to the rest of the world, particularly, Asia.”

At the conclusion of the Le Tour, Air21 chairman and cycling godfather Bert Lina commended the Filipino cyclists, saying that their strong showing in the contest is “plain and simple proof that the Filipino cyclist could be at par not only with Asia’s best, but with the worlds.”

“The possibility of producing world-class Filipino cyclists has presented itself in this Le Tour,” Lina added.

Following the Philippines’ excellent performance in the Le Tour, the country improved its rankings in the UCI’s road cycling category.

The Philippines is now ranked No. 4 in Asia, just behind top ranked Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Ravina also made a significant move and is now at number 30 in the Asian cyclists’ individual rankings.