MANILA, Philippines — Foreign teams in the Ronda Pilipinas International 2014 started arriving Thursday, ready to seek glory in the country’s richest bikathon that will fire off tomorrow.
Ronda director Moe Chulani said six of the seven foreign squads, led by the Netherlands’ Dutch Global Cycling Team, CNN Cycling Team, Japan’s Matrix Powertag and Infinite-Singha Cycling Team, are already in town.
Malaysia’s national team and Taiwan’s Team Gusto arrived Friday while South Korea’s Uijeongbu City Team will fly in at noon Friday , in time for the presentation of teams at Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City.
“Almost everyone is accounted for,” said Chulani. “We’re all ready to go for the Ronda Pilipinas International 2014.”
From among these squads, Dutch Global Cycling looms as the biggest threat to Filipino riders in the 14-stage race presented by LBC and backed by MVP Sports Foundation, NLEX, Maynilad, PLDT, Mitsubishi, Versa 2 Way Radio, Standard Insurance and Air Asia Zest.
The members of the crack Dutch squad, each capable of winning the individual title, stand at least 6 feet.
Two foreigners—Briton Daniel Patten and Spaniard Edgar Nieto—will ride as imports under Team Roadbike Philippines, a team owned and managed by engineer Bong Sual.
Defending champ Irish Valenzuela of Army and past winners Mark Galedo (7-Eleven Continental) and Santy Barnachea (Navy-Standard Insurance) head the PH challenge.