Juico vows to reform cycling, revive Tour of Luzon

THE newly elected officials of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines (ICFP) led by Philip ‘Popoy’ Ella Juico yesterday vowed to reform the sports as they pushed for a unified and strong cycling community in the country.

Juico, who was voted president of the cycling group recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), acknowledged the fact that Filipino cyclists have a strong chance to gain honor and recognition in the international scene.

“Cycling is just one sports Filipinos have a strong chance to win internationally. Past records show we can. If we join hands and work together, yes we can. Never mind our affiliation. For cycling and Philippines sports in general we have to be united,” said Juico, who was unanimously elected chief of the local cycling federation.

But to accomplish this, Juico’s group must extend an olive branch to the Philippine Integrated Cycling Federation (Philcycling) headed by Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino.

“That’s top o our priority. Lahat naman kami dito nagmamahal sa cycling and I’m sure Mr. (Bambol) Tolentino doesn’t want another Laos humiliation to happen again. We need to sit down and came out with win-win solution to the problem,” said Juico, referring to the Southeast Asian Games incident where 11 Filipino riders were barred from participating as they failed to secure license from the international cycling federation (UCI).

Tolentino, who inherited the presidency from Bert Lina, was the UCI duly recognized president of cycling association in the Philippines.

“At this point, we don’t need to argue on the issues of which group is recognized or not. The fact that we all love the sports and we are all Filipino we need to unite and came out with a strong program that will benefited cycling and the athletes,” said Juico.

Juico said programs for short and long term activities must be put in place immediately to help the cyclists, particularly the 11 candidates for the Asian Games this November in Guangzhou, China. The said nominees were all winners in the unified race conducted by the POC.

“Those athletes need equipment, training and proper nutrition. Based on papers we have a strong chance in road race and BMX, kailangan natin itong matutukan,” said Juico.

Juico added that he already looking for the revival of ‘Tour of Luzon’ as avenue to tap new talents and developed them to become world class cyclists.

“Several companies and individuals have already signified their intention to help us finance the revival of the Tour of Luzon. After this, maybe we can start planning for the reveival of Tour ng Pilipinas,” said Juico.

Under the plan, the Tour of Luzon will hit the roads in April.

Other elected officials were Ricky Cruz (Executive Vice President), Marcelino Abesamis (VP Luzon), Cesar Filosopo (VP Visayas), Rodolfo Arroyo (VP Mindanao), Cornelio Baylon Jr. ( Treasurer), Armando Bautista (sec-gen), Loy Cruz, Bibiano Laspuna, Rgino de Guzman, Mike Romero, Col. Arnold Taberdo and Pio Chua (Directors).

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