THIRTEEN continental teams and two national squads make up a formidable roster for the sixth edition of the Le Tour de Filipinas that hits the road on February 1 to 4 next year.
This makes the sixth edition of the annual Le Tour, the only International Cycling Union (UCI)-calendared road race in the country, as the toughest ever, according to race organizer Donna Lina-Flavier of Ube Media.
“With 13 continental and two national squads, the 2015 Le Tour will definitely be the most exciting,” Lina-Flavier said. “Unlike in the past editions when club teams joined the race, this time, the Le Tour has made its name as one of the most competitive in Asia.”
The continental teams which are returning to the Le Tour are Satalyst Giant Racing Team (Australia), CCN Cycling Team (Brunei), Astana Continental Team (Kazakhstan), Pegasus Continental Cycling Team (Indonesia), TPT Cycling Team (Iran), Terengganu Cycling Team (Malaysia), Bridgestone Anchor Cycling Team (Japan) and 7-Eleven (Philippines).
They will be joined by Le Tour first-timers Team Novo Nordisk (USA), RTS Carbon (Taiwan), Attaque Team Gusto (Taiwan), Pishgaman Yazd Pro Cycling Team (Iran) and Singha Infinite Cycling Team (Thailand).
The national team of the PhilCycling will also be vying as part of its preparations for the Asian Road and Track Championships in late February and the Singapore Southeast Asian Games in June.
Uzbekistan is also fielding its national team hoping to be sharp and ready for the Asian championships.
The 2015 Le Tour is going back to the fabled Kennon Road route for the Baguio City finish in Stage Four. Kennon Road has gone down in Philippine cycling history as the maker of champions in the local Tour.