THE Victoria Sports Cycling Team (VSCT)—the country’s newest professional cycling team—was launched over the weekend with high goals in sight for the current season.
“This team will work to open a ‘new chapter in Philippine cycling,’ as we aim to regularly and actively represent the country in major international cycling tournaments in Asia and around the world,” said Pako Ochoa, one of VSCT’s lead riders who rode for a continental team in Portugal the past three years.
Saturday’s launch was well attended with Philippine Olympic Committee and PhilCycling President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, PhilCycling Chairman Bert Lina and former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa gracing the event at the Victoria Sports Tower in Quezon City.
The team will lead a community ride in Quezon Memorial Circle on Sunday.
Also in the team are Filipino riders Luis Krog, Ean Cajucom, Jhay Oconer, Kelvin Mendoza, Daniel Ven Cariño and Jerry Aquino and Portuguese Márcio Barbosa, Pedro Paulinho, José Mendes and André Cardoso.
The officers of the VSCT are Atty. Franco Lacandalo (team representative), Jobert Catina (rider care and mechanic), Rayzon Galdonez (assistant sports director) and Portuguese Micael Isidoro (sports director).
“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,” Ochoa said.
Mendez is a former WorldTour Rider for Bora-Hansgrohe and two-time Portuguese national road champion, while Cardoso is a former WorldTour rider for Trek Segafredo.
Owned by New San Jose Builders, Inc., VSCT is also supported by San Miguel Corp., 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.