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Guangzhou road opens for cyclists


9:47 am
June 17, 2010



posts 215

IF things go well as planned, Filipino cyclists may end up competing in the Guangzhou Asian Games in November.

Officials of the two cycling groups disputing leadership in the sport showed up yesterday in a meeting brokered by the Philippine Olympic Committee and agreed to hold a series of unified trials next month to determine Pinoy cyclists who will represent the country in the Asiad.

Moying Martelino, a veteran hand in Philippine sports, met with the officials of the two groups at the POC Office at the Philsports Complex in Pasig City and declared "everything went smoothly."

"Maganda ang nangyari, nagkasundo lahat," said Martelino, a member of the working committee tasked to select the athletes for the Guangzhou Games who was tapped by the POC to broker the meeting.

Tagaytay City Mayor Bambol Tolentino, who heads the PhilCycling group recognized by the Union Cycliste International, failed to attend the meeting but was represented by his secretary-general, Atty. Cornelio Padilla, who was accompanied by another official, Jojo Villa. Padilla was given full authority to decide on Tolentino’s behalf.

Col. Arnold Taberdo, who took over after businessman Mikee Romero stepped down as chief of the other group recognized by the POC, and secretary-general Armando Bautista represented the other group.

Under the agreed plan, a series of unified races that will serve as tryouts will be held on July 9-15. Road races and cross country events will be held in Subic while track events will be held at the Amoranto velodrome in Quezon City.

A committee composed of equal number of members from the two groups will be formed to draw up the rules and regulations of the unified race, which Martelino said will be based on "UCI rules."

Both groups submitted a list of athletes they want to be invited to join the tryouts.

POC official Joey Romasanta, the country’s chief-of-mission for the Asian Games, lauded both groups for setting aside their differences for the sake of the flag and national riders.

"We are very happy there was a positive development. This is a breakthrough towards unification and we are hoping for a lasting peace in cycling association," said Romasanta, who proposed the holding of the unified event two weeks ago as a temporary measure to enable Filipino cyclists to compete in Guangzhou.

The sensitive issue of the leadership dispute was not touched during the meeting.

A total of 12 riders traveled to Laos for last year’s Southeast Asian Games but were not allowed to compete because they did not have the proper UCI license. A 13th rider, Marites Bitbit, was armed with needed license issued by Tolentino but was ordered not to compete by the POC in a show of sympathy with her teammates.


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