BMX rink in Tagaytay City (File photo)

MANILA – International cycling action returns to the Philippines when Tagaytay City hosts the 2023 Asian BMX Championships and Asian Junior BMX Championships for Racing and Freestyle from March 3 to 6 next year at the International Cycling Union (UCI)-standard BMX track and at the Tagaytay City International Convention Center (TICC) complex.

The Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) announced during its Annual Congress in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Sunday the granting of the hosting rights to the Philippines through the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines (PhilCycling).

“We thank the ACC for granting PhilCycling's bid to host the Asian championships,” said PhilCycling chief Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, also the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee. “It’s been a while since we hosted international cycling events and with this privilege, PhilCycling, Tagaytay City and the entire country for that matter will put their best foot forward for this event.”

Tolentino said PhilCycling will ask the UCI to calendar the 2023 Asian championships as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The last time that international cycling competitions were held in the country was in 2019 during the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Tagaytay City was the main hub of competitions for Road and BMX while nearby Laurel (Batangas) hosted the Mountain Bike (MTB) competitions.

At the forefront of the Philippines’ BMX Racing campaign is Daniel Caluag, a London 2012 Olympian and the country’s lone gold medalist at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games. Joining him are his brother CJ Caluag and 2019 Asian Junior Championships gold medalist Patrick Coo.

BMX Freestyle, now an Olympic and UCI event, consists of Flatland and Street with 2019 SEA Games veterans Renz Viaje and Alan Ray Alfaro leading the charge.

A roof has been built over the BMX Track in Tagaytay City making it one of the most unique tracks in the continent.

The Flatland competitions will be staged at the Sigtuna Hall inside the TICC and the Street events at the existing skatepark facility at the Tagaytay City athletics oval.

The Philippines hosted continental cycling competitions in 2005 (Southeast Asian Games—Tagaytay City for Road, Amoranto Velodrome for Track and Danao City for MTB), 2004 (Puerto Princesa City for Asian MTB), 1997 (Danao City for Asian MTB) and 1995 (Amoranto Velodrome and Subic for Asian Road Championships). (PR)