The most prestigious bike race in the Philippines
Le Tour de Filipinas 2013: The most prestigious bike race in the Philippines

Last month, I switched to a 29er bike thinking that this would give me the edge I needed for my very first pure mountain bike race. No, I don’t mean to imply that 29ers are superior machines to 26ers. But as any biker knows, nothing motivates you to practice and hammer the trails quite like a new bike.

But sadly, I will not be taking part in the Giant XC Cup at the scenic La Mesa Forest Reserve. The reason is this: Le Tour De Filipinas 2013— the only UCI certified race in the Philippines. I won’t be taking part in it as a racer, but I will be covering it for a TV channel.

It was a particularly difficult dilemma. Should I take part in what promises to be a very exciting MTB race in one of the best trails in the Philippines? Or should I cover an equally exciting four stage international road race  that will take me through some of the most scenic highways of northern Luzon. In the end I chose Le Tour, because I know (with crossed fingers) that there will be another similar mountain bike race this year.

Race route through northern Luzon
The race takes teams through some of the most scenic roads of northern Luzon

So what is Le Tour de Filipinas? Remember the Tour of Luzon and Marlboro Tour events in the 80s and early 90s. It’s like that. But it is a bit shorter, with just four stages set this year in northern Luzon.


What it lacks in stages it makes up for in the quality of competition. Le Tour has a lot more international teams participating. Some of these teams are very very strong.

It is also certified by the Union Cycliste Internationale–the same body that makes Tour de France legit. I will be posting updates about Le Tour on this blog starting April 12th. Stay tuned.

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