It is not easy not being at the wrong end of the General Classification (GC) in a race as big as PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi but Ryan Tugawin from the 7Eleven Cliqq-AIR21 BY Roadbike Phillippines trudges on nonetheless.
At the end of Stage Six of PETRONAS Le Tour de Langkawi 2023, the 33-year-old Tugawin is just a spot off from the bottom of the pile as the peloton is reduced to just 115 riders.
But Tugawin is not giving up yet – not by a long shot.
“We are always motivated every day because we have been instructed to set realistic goals and go for what is at hand. In this instance, we still aim for various honours like Sprint, the King of the Mountain, Best Asian stage finisher, and so on. So, we never stop setting goals,” said Tugawin.
Asked if he was overawed being in the same peloton with some of the best European riders, Tugawin added: “It is a great opportunity to compete against some of the best in Europe and Asia certainly. We learn more and makes us better riders. It has certainly motivated me to strive for more.”
At the end of Stage Six today, Tugawin has clocked in 24 hours 46 minutes 35 seconds – just over a minute ahead of the last rider in the peloton – Latvian Andris Vosekalns from Hengxiang Cycling Team.
“Yes definitely, the climb up Genting Highlands yesterday was the hardest climb for me so far. But it is not a sign to stop. For us, we never stop until you achieve your goal,” he quipped.
The current Philippines national criterium champion hails from Solano in Nueva Vizcaya.