It is all systems go for the Victoria Sports Cycling Team ––the country’s newest professional cycling team.
The team is formally launched Saturday, 21 January 21, to the public in a ceremony at the Victoria Sports Tower in Quezon City.
On Sunday, the team will lead a community ride in Quezon Memorial Circle.
Team representative Pako Ochoa said that the team will work to open a “new chapter in Philippine cycling, as it aims to be the first Philippine team to regularly and actively represent the country in major international cycling tournaments in Asia and countries around the world.”
“It is an exciting time for Philippine sports. Our country won its first gold medal in the Olympics two years ago, and this year the country will be represented in both the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the FIBA Basketball World Cup,” said Ochoa.
The cyclist pointed out that “we are slowly showing the world that Filipino athletes can be competitive in international sporting competitions, and we will set out to prove that Filipinos have what it takes to excel in cycling as well.”
The officers of the VSCT are Atty. Franco Lacandalo (Team Representative), Jobert Catina (Rider Care and Mechanic), Rayzon Galdonez (Assistant Sports Director), and Micael Isidoro (Sports Director).
The riders of the team, on the other hand, are Jhay Oconer, Kelvin Mendoza, Márcio Barbosa, Luis Krog, Pedro Paulinho, Ochoa, Ean Cajucom, José Mendes, Daniel Cariño, Jerry Aquino, and André Cardoso.
Mendez and Cardoso are experienced professional cyclists from Portugal. Mendez is a former World Tour Rider for Bora-Hansgrohe and two-time Portuguese national road champion, while Cardoso is a former World Tour rider for Trek Segafredo.
Aside from competing in UCI International races, the team also wants to contribute “to the meteoric rise of the popularity of biking in the Philippines.”
“We are extremely grateful to all the companies that share our vision,” stressed Ochoa, “and also believe that we can go beyond making cycling more popular––that we can raise the level of cycling and make it a part of our culture, as it is in other parts of the world where the needs and rights of bikers are embraced and respected.”
Owned by New San Jose Builders, Inc., VSCT also has the support of San Miguel Corporation, Banco De Oro, SM, Grab Philippines, and Mr. Kevin Wong.
VSCT is also backed by Gruppo Innovare Corporation-Specialized Philippines, Neo Zigma Cycle Corporation-Shimano and PRO, Cofides Competição, Cebu Pacific, Rudy Project, Manuel L. Quezon University, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, VS Hotel, and Schroeder’s Deli.