Ronda Pilipinas sets five-stage qualifiers
MANILA, Philippines—Aspiring cyclists will try to qualify for Ronda Pilipinas 2015 when they take part in five qualifying stages set in Visayas and Luzon starting on Feb. 11.
The three-stage Visayas qualifier will run up to Feb. 14 in Negros Island, where 54 slots (50 elite and four juniors) will be up for gabs, followed by the two-stage Luzon qualifier in Tarlac and Antipolo City, where 34 spots (30 elite and four juniors), will be dangled on Feb. 16 and 17.
The 88 qualifiers will then join last year’s champion Reimon Lapaza of Butuan, the nine-man national team led by Mark Galedo, and a composite European team in the Championship round unfolding in Greenfield City in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, on Feb. 22 and ending in Baguio City on Feb. 27.
Visayas’ Stage One will kick off at the Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol and end in Silay City Plaza (172.7 kilometers for elite, 120.2 km for juniors).
Stage Two will start at Bacolod City Plaza and end at Bacolod Government Center via Don Salvador Benedicto and San Carlos (158 km for elite, 110.5 km for juniors) on Feb. 12.
Stage Three will open at Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol and end in Cadiz City (123 km for elite and juniors).
Ronda Pilipinas 2015, presented by LBC, however, is not all about races.
It will do community service on the side as it embarks on a nationwide search for potential national cyclists.
Nena Wuthrich, head of LBC Foundation which has partnered with Ronda for the last four editions, said several programs, including environment friendly activities such as mangroves planting in Bacolod on Feb. 12, have been calendared.
Other activities lined up is a visit to cancer victims of Kythe Foundation in Tarlac City on Feb. 16, refurbishing of a selected school in Antipolo City on Feb. 17, and a feeding program in Dagupan, Pangasinan, on Feb. 26.
Tree-planting activities are also being planned in Dumaguete City, where Ronda will come off the wraps, and in Baguio, where the race is culminating.
“Ronda Pilipinas is not just all about the race, it’s also about promoting local tourism by showing off some of the country’s beautiful places, doing community service and promoting environmental protection,” said Ronda executive director Moe Chulani.
Ronda is being supported by major sponsors the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation and Petron and minor sponsors Cannondale, Standard Insurance, Tech1 Corp., Maynilad and NLEX and sanctioned by PhilCycling under Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
TV5 and Sports Radio are media partners. Roy Luarca
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