Le Tour de Filipinas will be a tactical race

MANILA, Philippines – The rider with the all-around skill will most likely dominate the five-stage 10th edition of the Le Tour de Filipinas which will hit the road from June 14 to 18.

National team coaches Reinhardt Gorrantes and Ednalyn Hualda believe this year's Le Tour de Filipinas would not only favor the sprinters and the climbers but the cyclists who are strong in handling both terrain types.

"There are mountain passes in the race but let us not forget the middle stages which are almost all flat with a slightly reclining gradient," said Gorrantes, head coach of the national team composed of Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance riders. 

Hualda agreed saying Stage 1 and Stage 5 offer challenges for the climbers, but with the long Stage 1, 2 and 3, tactical riding is a must in the race.

"It would be a race of strategies," Hualda said. "Like a chess game, you have to ponder your moves to win."

The entire race covers 822.2 kms of paved road down south of Manila.

It kicks off on June 14 with a short and demanding 129.5-kilometer Stage 1 on an out-and-back course in Tagaytay City, followed by a 194.9-kilometer Stage 2 on June 15 from Pagbilao, Quezon to Daet, Camarines Norte.

Stage 3 on June 16 will be 183.7 kilometers from Daet to Legazpi City and Stage 4 will cover 176 kilometers from Legazpi City via Sorsogon and Gubat and back to the Albay capital.

Stage Five 5 also be out-and-back in Legazpi City, but this time it will be via Donsol in Sorsogon for a total of 145.8 kilometers – a crucial final leg where the cyclists will have to endure pedaling over rolling hills and strong winds. – Rappler.com