Le Tour de Filipinas hits road with 85 elite riders

MANILA, Philippines — The Le Tour de Filipinas kicks off its ninth edition tomorrow with EDSA, the country’s busiest major highway, playing a major role as part of the Stage 1 route.

From the Liwasang Aurora start inside the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, the 17 teams composed of 85 cyclists will pedal over the Elliptical Road and through Quezon Avenue before negotiating Edsa toward Monumento in Caloocan City for the race’s neutral zone that covers 9.5 kilometers.

Assisting the race entourage is the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), headed by chairman Danilo Lim, whose men in blue vowed to control traffic flow without disturbing movement of vehicles.

The 157.50-km Stage 1 to Palayan City of the race co-presented by Air21, Cignal and Cargohaus Inc. and organized by Ube Media Inc. will be flagged off at 8 a.m. The race column is expected to complete the Edsa neutral ride under 30 minutes.

“Edsa is historic in many ways, but with the traffic conditions on the highway, especially at rush hour – and the concerns over clean air – it would be a milestone for the Le Tour de Filipinas to expand its advocacy on the major thoroughfare,” said Alberto Lina, PhilCycling chairman.