By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
THERE has been a stiff competition and rivalry of two big national cycling tours being held annually for the last five years for sponsorship in 2011. These are the world governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) sanctioned four-day Le Tour de Filipinas sponsored by AIR 21 and the 10-day Ronda Pilipinas sponsored by LBC but unfortunately not sanctioned by UCI. It’s only the national cycling body PhilCycling that sanctions Ronda.
It’s obvious why the rivalry between the two major mail carrier companies extend to the promotion of the two purse-rich multi-stage bikathon. I believe they are the logical sponsors. In Tour de France, the sponsor is the national newspaper (I forgot the name) and organized by Europe’s famous group called Amaury Sports Organization.
The Le Tour is focusing on foreigners while Ronda is concentrating on our locals.
The Le Tour this year invited 15 international clubs around the world i.e., USA, Australia, Kazakhstan, Norway, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, Iran and our local bets with six cyclists for each squad. Le Tour is organized by UBE Media by Bert Lina’s AIR 21.
Ronda is organized by Fernando Araneta of LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation of Manny V. Pangilinan. Unlike last year with some foreign entries, this year’s Ronda will only be for locals with ten teams participating, eight cyclists per squad. Le Tour will start in Balanga, Bataan and finishes in Burnham Park, Baguio City, while will begin in Butuan City in Mindanao, to Visayas then Luzon and ends also in Baguio City.
We have two Pangasinenses that captured the crown of Le Tour and Ronda. Santy Barnachea of Umingan won the Ronda 2011 and Baler Ravina of Asingan clinching Le Tour 2012. The two will play big roles again next month.
We have three other Pangasinenses joining the two tours this year, namely Ronald Oranza of Villasis, Joshua Carino of Mangaldan and Mark Julius Bordeo of Laoac. Can our local boys wrest the crowns this year to add to the multiple laurels that our local boys already brought home? I hope so. But the chance is very slim. In my analysis, the most experienced Barnachea and Ravina are aging riders, now in their late 30’s, so that’s a handicap right there. . Maybe the three (Oranza, Carino and Bordeo) have a good chance since they’re only at their early 20’s but they lack the experience and their mountain climbing capabilities are not championship calibers, unless they have already improved. Mountain climbing ability counts a lot in any multi-stage cycling event. Anyway let’s pray for their victories for these two different tours because their victories are also our wins.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” ROMANS 5: 12
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