Scientific approach keeps PLDT ahead of pack in Ronda bike race
American coach Chris Allison distributes power bars to PLDT Spyder riders before the start of a lap in the Ronda Pilipinas multi-stage bike race. 

MORE than the preparation, exposure, and discipline, technology is one key component that is keeping PLDT-Spyder ahead of the other teams the 2013 Ronda Pilipinas.

Chris Allison, the American coach of PLDT, believes cycling is a scientific sport and success by a rider is not only earned though talent and sheer guts.

“Racing in the Philippines is very different from racing in abroad,” admitted Allison, revealing to that PLDT-Spyder review videos of its opponents, a rarity in local cycling.

“That’s why we know how a rider attacks, how he reacts,” said the youthful coach, who campaigned in both US and European tours in the past.

So far, the scientific approach has been doing wonders halfway through the 16-stage, 21-day P7.5 million bikathon as PLDT riders have already amassed four lap honors and regained the overall lead in the team race after the Alaminos-Vigan Stage 9 on Thursday.

PLDT-Spyder currently holds a three-minute, three-second lead over erstwhile leader LPGMA-American Vinyl.

In the race for the P 1 million individual purse, PLDT-Spyder stalwart Ronald Oranza is running a strong second to leader Irish Valenzuela of LPGMA-American Vinyl, trailing by just three minutes and eight seconds.

And Allison said the fight doesn’t stop there as PLDT tries to bring cycling in the Philippines to another level.

The former Ronda Pilipinas moto marshal also said the riders’ nutrition and nourishment are high in the team’s agenda.

Instead of a steady supply of banana and drinking water, Allison sees to it that his riders get their regular dose of imported rehydration drink similar to the one given to riders in the Tour de France.

“Nutrition is very important. Protein shake replenishes water and your body recovers faster. That’s where energy comes,” Allison said.

Likewise, the American coach said PLDT riders have adopted a military-like approach to training, riding from seven to eight hours daily in practice.

Then there’s also a few weeks of training the team went through in Australia just before the Ronda Pilipinas, and soon after, another round of training in Belgium for eight of his riders for a more innate `road schooling.’

“The program is one year old now, it will continue to remain in place," said Allison, adding PLDT-Spyder now has a continental team status bearing the name LBC-MVP in international competitions.

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