Manuel "Maui" Reynante twice won the Tour of Luzon (Philippines' cycling stage race) in 1977 and 1980. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and rides with the Luzvimin club. (For those readers not familiar with the term "Luzvimin", it stands for the 3 main islands in the Philippines, namely, Luzon, Vizayas, Mindanao. The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,000 islands.) Maui also races various rides in the Masters category.
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The Tour of Luzon was launched in 1955 as a four-stage race from Manila to Vigan (an ancient town established by the Spanish, with very old churches made of adobe stone). The next year the Manila Times newspaper took over, renamed it Tour of Luzon, and increased the number of stages. The tour helped increase newspaper sales. Famous riders in that era include Pangasinan riders CORNELIO PADILLA, JESS GARCIA (both 2-time champs), and JOSE SUMALDE of Catanduanes. No tours were held in '68, 70, '71, 72.
In 1977 a rift led to the holding of two tours that year, one of which was won by Manuel Reynante (his first win), and the other by Jess Garcia (his 2nd win). Reynante won again in 1980. In the years 1977 to 1981, the tour's name changed yearly, reflecting different sponsors and the instability of the sport at that time.
Photo below shows riders going through one of the towns along the flat stages.
In 1978 Marlboro (the cigarette company) took over and began a reign of 21 years until 1998 when it withdrew sponsorship. 1999 to 2001 saw no tours.
In 2002 and to this day, FedEx (the air freight company) sponsored the tour under various names.
One of the more memorable Tour victories was a win in 1987 by a cigarette and fishball vendor from Valenzuela named REYNALDO DEQUITO.
In 1991 the race was eerily similar to American Greg Lemond's come-from-behind win in the 1989 Tour de France. In 1991 BERNARDO LLENTADA trailed CARLO GUIEB by 46.12 seconds going into the 17th and last stage, a 32-km race-against-the-clock along Roxas Blvd. Llentada rode a never-before-seen aerobar and a disc wheel, and won the Tour by one-minute and 30.48 seconds over Guieb. Guieb won it two years later, and the year after that.
In 1997 when the tour was recognized by the UCI for the first time, cyclists from all nationalities were allowed to compete. A Hong Kong national, Wong Kam Po won it. Also, UCI rules were enforced for the first time, and the public was mildly amused at what it thought was a strange penalty against a rider: The violation was for urinating in public, a rule used for the first time at the Tour of Luzon. Riders from other countries complained of the bad rural roads, forgetting to note that even the Tour de France held stages on unpaved (gravel) roads.
Manila Times era
1955 Manila-Vigan Antonio Arzala
1956 Tour of Luzon Antonio Arzala
1957 Tour of Luzon Rufino Gabot
1958 Tour of Luzon Mamerto Eden
1959 Tour of Luzon Antonio Arzala
1960 Tour of Luzon Rodrigo Abaquita
1961 Tour of Luzon Jose Moring
1962 Tour of Luzon Edmundo De Guzman
1963 Tour of Luzon Gonzalo Recodos
1964 Tour of Luzon Jose Sumalde
1965 Tour of Luzon Jose Sumalde
1966 Tour of Luzon Cornelio Padilla
1967 Tour of Luzon Cornelio Padilla
1969 Tour ng Filipinas Domingo Quilban
Various sponsors era
1974 Tour of Luzon Teodorico Rimarim
1975 Tour of Luzon Samson Etrata
1976 Tour of Luzon Modesto Bonzo
1977 Tour ng Pilipinas Manuel Reynante
and 1977 Marlboro Tour Jess Garcia
1978 Perk Speed Tour Rumin Salamante
1979 Marlboro Tour Paquito Rivas
1980 Tour of the Philippines Manuel Reynante
1981 Tour of the Philippines Jacinto Sicam
1982 Marlboro Tour Jacinto Sicam
1983 Marlboro Tour Romeo Bonzo
1984 Marlboro Tour Ruben Carino
1985 Marlboro Tour Pepito Calip
1986 Marlboro Tour Rolando Pagnanawon
1987 Marlboro Tour Reynaldo Dequito
1988 Marlboro Tour Armando Catalan
1989 Marlboro Tour Gerardo Igos
1990 Marlboro Tour Manuel Buenaventura
1991 Marlboro Tour Bernardo Llentada
1992 Marlboro Tour Renato Dolosa
1993 Marlboro Tour Carlo Guieb
1994 Marlboro Tour Carlo Guieb
1995 Marlboro Tour Renato Dolosa
1996 Marlboro Tour Victor Espiritu
1997 Marlboro Tour Wong Kam Po
1998 Marlboro Tour Warren Davadilla
2002 FedEx Tour of Calabarzon Santy Barnachea
2003 Air21 Tour Pilipinas Arnel Quirmit
2004 Air21 Tour Pilipinas Rhyan Tanguilig
2005 Tour Pilipinas (50-Year Anniv) Warren Davadilla
2006 Padyak Pinoy Tour Pilipinas Santy Barnachea
2007 Padyak Pinoy Victor Espiritu