Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chief Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and three other national Olympic committee (NOC) presidents who are also heads of their cycling federations were recognized by the International Cycling Union (UCI) during its Congress on Thursday in Glasgow, Scotland.
Most prominent among the cycling and NOC heads was UCI President David Lappartient, who now leads France’s Olympic committee — a position the world sporting community believes is a prelude to the Frenchman succeeding Thomas Bach as International Olympic Committee president.
“It’s a rare and historic event and opportunity,” said Tolentino of the ongoing UCI World Championships where the sports’ governing body packed the world championships in 13 cycling disciplines in 11 days in Scotland.
“This won’t be happening again soon,” said Tolentino, adding that next year’s world championships in Zurich would only feature road events.
Also recognized alongside Lappartient and Tolentino were NOC and cycling head of Indonesia, Raja Sapta Oktohari, and Mauritania’s Abderrahmane Ethmane.
Their recognition was one of the agenda in the UCI’s 192nd Congress attended by the international federation’s 203 member countries in Glasgow. The UCI was founded 123 years ago on April 14, 1900.
Tolentino also had the opportunity to get close and personal with Lappartient and former UCI President Pat McQuaid.
Lappartient was one of the commissaires in the Asian road and track cycling championships the country hosted at the Amoranto Velodrome and Subic in 1995, while McQuaid called the Philippines his second home in the mid and late 1990s when—as UCI’s road commission head—he worked on transforming the Marlboro Tour into a major international race in Southeast Asia.