Ronda gives glimpse of PH bikers’ Asiad hopes
MANILA, Philippines — The international edition of the 2014 Ronda Pilipinas set to flag off Saturday is a test of stamina and resolve for Filipino riders vying to capture a medal in the 17th Asian Games.
Ronda 2012 champion Mark Galedo of 7-Eleven Roadbike Philippines won a gold in the recent Southeast Asian Games in Burma (Myanmar) while LBC youth standout Ronald Oranza and the team of Rustom Lim, Galedo and Oranza also brought home bronze medals.
They will be pitted against tough foreign riders from the Asian circuit during the 14-stage, 16-day race, which starts with a 66-kilometer criterium on Quezon Memorial Circle.
“Really, one of Ronda’s main goals is to win a medal in the Asian Games,” said LBC and Ronda big boss Fernando “Dino” Araneta.
On its fourth staging, Ronda has invited seven foreign teams led by Netherlands’ Dutch Global, CNN Continental Cycling Team, South Korea’s Uijeongbu City Cycling Team and Japan’s Matrix Powertag Continental Team.
Local teams PLDT-Maynila Pro Cycling Team, Team Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, 7-Eleven, Team Cycleline Butuan Mindanao, Roadbike Philippines and Team Cebu are also eyeing a piece of the total cash pot in the country’s richest race amounting to P7.3 million.
The race is presented by LBC along with sponsors NLEX, Maynilad, PLDT, Mitsubishi, MVP Sports Foundation, Versa 2 Way Radio, Standard Insurance and Air Asia.
Covering 1,776.1 kilometers of flat and hilly roads, Ronda will travel to southern Luzon on the first week before heading north the following week where the mountain stages in Baguio City determine the champion.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.