The Victoria Sports Pro Cycling (VSPC) unveils the new additions to its team for the 2024 races, led by leader Carlos Francisco Ochoa and sports director Hector Carretero from Spain (first and second from left), during in the official launch on Sunday at the Victoria Sports Tower in Quezon City. _

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The souped-up Victoria Sports Pro Cycling (VSPC) unveiled its new team that is raring to fly the flag high in a slew of international races, starting with the Tour de Taiwan next week.

Paced by team leader Carlos Francisco Ochoa, VSPC is keen on surpassing the heights of its debut year marked by gallant finishes in different tours abroad.

“It’s not just about the launch of a new team. It’s a continuation of our growth and evolution from last year for the dream of elevating Philippine cycling to the highest level possible — may it be the world championships or Tour de France,” said Mr. Ochoa during the team launch over the weekend at the Victoria Sports Tower in Quezon City.

The revamped VSPC team is made up of Filipino, European and Latin cyclists with distinguished Spanish cyclist Hector Carretero, a former Movistar Team standout and member of Spain’s UCI pro team Equipo Kern Pharma, leading the way as new sports director.

Former Le Tour de Filipinas champion El Joshua Cariño takes on a new role as one of the assistants sports directors for VSPC, which scoops up the services of seasoned rider Marcelo Felipe with young guns Alexis Pagara, Ismael Grospe Jr., Landerson Nebres, Edson Corbadora, Miguel Andrei Obmerga, Kenneth Maramba and the 23-year-old Nichol Pareja, who ruled the individual time trial (ITT) in this year’s PhilCycling National Championships for Road.

Serving as added reinforcements are Olympian Nicolas Sessler from Brazil, Edgar Nieto of Spain and Dutch Jeroen Meijers, who won the individual title in last year’s Tour de Taiwan.

They will join holdovers Mr. Ochoa, Ean Cajucom, Daniel Van Cariño and Portuguese Jose Mendes after anchoring VSPC’s rousing entry to the cycling world last year with UCI stints in Iran, Spain, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Poland and Uzbekistan.

After Taiwan on March 10 to 14, VSPC will represent the country in elite races in the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Greece, Estonia, Poland, Azerbaijan and Romania for a total of 16 tours in a loaded schedule this year. — John Bryan Ulanday