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Tour de Manille cycling race set on July 9

To celebrate the 70 years of Franco-Philippine friendship, the Embassy of France and the Firefly Brigade Inc. will stage the first Tour de Manille cycling race at the North Park SM by the Bay, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City on July 9.

More than 300 riders, including members of the national cycling team, will compete in the one-day event, which is inspired by the common passion of French and Filipinos for the sport.

The tournament was formally launched on Tuesday at the Bikers’ Cafe at the SM by the Bay with Firefly Brigade president Jack Yabut, the French Embassy’s counselor for cooperation and cultural affairs Yves Zoberman, and SM senior vice president for marketing communications Millie Dizon.

The Tour de Manille has four categories, each of which covers 5 km. The categories are fun ride and chase (open to all ages and bicycle types); competitive race for men (17 years old and above); competitive race for women (17 years old and above); and elite pro-class (national road race cyclists representing Team Go for Gold, Team Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance and Team 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines-Taokas.

The fun and ride chase will start at 5 a.m., to be followed by the competitive races for men (6 a.m.) and women (6:45 a.m.), and elite pro-class (7:30 a.m.).

Among the national riders who will compete on Sunday are George Oconer, Marcelo Felipe, Jan Paul Morales and Marella Salamat.

Jean T. Malanum/PNA