The Ronda Pilipinas, the biggest and richest cycling race in the Philippines, will go youth-based, All-Filipino and nationwide as it hits the road from February 8 to 27 starting in Butuan City down South and passing through the Visayas before ending in mountaintop Baguio up North.
Now on its fifth staging, the LBC-sponsored bicycle road race has done away with the old practice of letting the participating teams form their squads by practically opening the race to everyone with Qualifying Rounds in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon.
The Mindanao qualifying round is scheduled February 8 to 9 in Butuan City, Cagayan de Oro, Tubod in Lanao del Norte and Dipolog, the Visayas qualifying leg is from February 11 to 12 in Dumaguete, Sipalay and Bacolod and the Luzon elimination is from February 15 and 16 Antipolo City and Tarlac,.
About 100 riders will qualify from the three qualifying races and into the Championship round in Luzon where they will join the 2014 Ronda Pilipinas Champion, Reimon Lapaza of Butuan City, Asian Cycling Championship-bound national cycling team headed by Mark Galedo and Ronald Oranza and a composite European team composed of mostly Danish cyclists in a battle for the top purse worth P1 million courtesy of LBC.
Ronda Pilipinas Executive Project Director Moe Chulani said that apart from a different format, this year’s edition will focus on discovering, tapping and developing young riders while giving unknown riders a chance to compete against the country’s best.