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Freeman Cebu Sports

World Championships: Rainbow Rising

TOUR DE FRANCE - Jose Vicente Araneta - The Freeman

Washington, DC. Today is Saturday, and I’m here in Washington DC and i’m just two hours away from one event that’s in my bucket list, The World Road Cycling Championships in Richmond, Virginia. I am excited! We, my sister, Flom, and my brother, JC, drove all the way from NJ just to witness one of the top three events in the sport of professional cycling.

Yesterday, (Friday), we were in downtown Philly and planned to visit Rocky Steps and the Liberty Bell but the roads going to these iconic places were closed and security was tight. We walked around the city, hoping to find a way to get there- it wasn’t even close. JC’s GPS told us we walked about 10K’s, all for nothing. But the experience was something else. You could feel the excitement and anticipation the folks in the City of Brotherly Love, just like the night before our Sinulog.

Anyway, back to the WC.

After the yellow jersey of the Tour de France, the next most famous tunic in cycling is the rainbow stripes, a white jersey with the rainbow band wrapped around the body. While you can only wear the yellow jersey during the Tour de France, world champion gets to wear the strips for one year and for every race he or she joins. So, its not only the prestige of wearing the jersey but also the sponsorship possibilities that goes with it.

The first Worlds was held back in 1927 and has been held every year since, except for the break from 1939-45, for WWII. from the early years, the Worlds was held in Europe, and it was only in 1974 that the organisers brought it outside of Europe, in the very European city of Montreal won by Eddy Merckx. In 1977, the Worlds went out of its comfort zone again to go to San Cristobal Venezuela. Since then, the event has been to Colorado Springs (1986), Utsonimya, Japan (1990) Colombia (1995) , back to Canada (Hamilton 2003), Geelong, Australia (2010) and this year in Richmond, Virginia.

Professional cycling is still a small-knit community, and in spite of the UCI talking about “Mondialization”, the sport is still looks, feel and smells like the Old World. So, for me, this was the only realistic time that I could experience the Worlds.

I would have loved to see Fabian Cancellara, but he’s not here due to an injury. Mark Cavendish is also absent after the crash two weeks ago in the Tour of Britain.  If there is one rider I would like to interview, its Peter Sagan. But its unlikely to happen since it costs about US$500 just to get into the finishing line pavilion!!! But i will try, even a selfie will do!

Will the Philippines ever get to host the Worlds? Here are a few numbers for Richmond that local organisers can chew for a long time- The Worlds is a 9-day event, culminating with the Mens Road Race. The organziers, Richmond 2015, was able to raise the US$21.5 million needed to host this event and more from private parties. The event will bring together 450,000 people and about 1000 athletes. Revenue from thee event will bring in US$2.1 million. The process to secure the event in Richmond started before 2010 and with the support of the bike-riding mayor of the city Dwight Clinton Jones, Richmond 2015 made it a reality.

 

 

 

ACIRC

CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE

COLORADO SPRINGS

DWIGHT CLINTON JONES

EDDY MERCKX

EVENT

FABIAN CANCELLARA

MARK CAVENDISH

MENS ROAD RACE

OLD WORLD

PETER SAGAN

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