The four-stage race starts on Feb. 18 from the hills of Antipolo and will traverse the so-called backdoor to the south through Laguna and Quezon and will finish in bustling Lucena City.
According to Donna Lina of the organizing Ube Media Inc., Stage Two of the annual race on the Asia Tour of the International Cycling Union (UCI) will bring the continental team-laden entourage to Daet, Camarines Norte, on Feb. 19.
Stage Three on Feb. 20 will be a long ride from Daet to Legaspi City where the riders get their first look at enchanting Mayon before finishing in the Albay capital of Legaspi.
The final stage on Feb. 21 will circle Mayon Volcano passing by the geothermal power plants in Tiwi on an out-and-back course also in Legaspi City.
Fifteen teams, including at least 12 continental teams from five continents, will be racing for the 2016 edition of the only UCI race in the country. The race will cover an approximate distance of 600 kilometers.
“It’s about time that we bring the LTdF down south, this time in the Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions to spur awareness on cycling not only as a competitive sport, but more importantly as a form of physical fitness,” Lina said.
The first six editions of the LTdF were raced up north with the Cordilleras posing as the biggest challenge to the cyclists.
Two Filipinos – Baler Ravina (2012) and Mark Galedo (2014) – won the LtDF. Ireland’s David McCann topped the 2010 inaugurals.