The Ford Forza triathlon team has announced the renewal of its partnership with Ford Philippines during the Ford Forza 2016 Refuel event at the B Hotel in Quezon City on Thursday.
“Actually, its like a match made in heaven. We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Ford Forza Triathlon Team and honored to share this journey with them,” said Ford Philippines Vice-President for Marketing and Sales, Minnie Valencia-Bustamante.
Led by team captain Gian¬luca Guidicelli, the Forza triathlon team is composed of 15 skilled triathletes.
“Ford has been a really team player for us. We really matched the idea, the discipline, the commitment that Ford has. Forza, the word itself, means strong in Italian and Ford is tough-build vehicle so we are tough together. That’s the beauty,” Guidicelli told The Manila Times.
Among the members of the team are Guidicelli’s children celebrity Mateo Guidicelli, degreed nutritionist Giorgia Guidicelli and nine-year old Paolo Guidicelli. The other key people in the squad are saddle row instructor Claudia Tagle, racecar driver Stefano Marcelo, actors Ivan Carapiet and Victor Basa, media personality Dyan Castillejo, lawyer Joey Reyes, professional coach Elmo Clarabal and businessman Jomer Lim.
During the event, the older Guidicelli also introduced professional athletes Maria Hodges, Joseph Miller and Glenn Gonzalez as the latest additions to the team.
“They helped me racing in Subic last year, that’s why [I decided to join the team]. It is very important because if you don’t have a team, you feel like you’re lost,” said Hodges.
Ford Forza named Saucony as its official footwear partner.
“2015 was the beginning of Ford Forza’s amazing year of achievements. We were able to touch the lives of many people, including our sponsored athletes in the team. This 2016, we will work and race harder, tougher and happier,” said team captain Guidicelli.
“Definitely, we are moving forward. We have very good players this year in terms of potential podium [finishers]like Hodges, Miller, Clarabal and Gonza¬les. We have a really good team this year,” he added.
The team is also involved in community work and supports talented triathletes.
Clarabal, a jeepney driver and triathlete, is one of Ford Forza’s scholars who eventually became part of the team.
“Triathlon is like a lifestyle. I’m not a pro triathlete. I just love the sport, passionate about the sport, I love the lifestyle. It gets you out of the couch. It keeps you active. It’s a nice way to workout and hangout with friends. Triathlon can really change lives,” said Mateo.
“My idea is to inspire people, change their lifestyle. I started by myself at a certain age. And now, I’m free of any medical issue. I want to inspire other to be happy and healthy. Health is wealth,” said Gianluca.
The team is gearing up for the upcoming Tri United 1 on February 28, IronMan 70.3 in Subic on March 6, as well as various Xterra championships.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID