ARIANA Dormitorio and 2019 Southeast Asian Games medalists Avegail Rombaon, Nino Surban, and Edmhel John Flores lead the participants in the XCO elite category of the Philcycling MTB National Championships in Danao City, Cebu to be held this weekend.
The competition also serves as trials for the national squad being formed for the next SEA Games in Vietnam.
Heading the start list is Dormitorio, who is looking to win her fourth national women’s elite crown in the first cycling competition sanctioned by Philcycling during the pandemic.
Rombaon, who captured the bronze medal in the SEA Games held in Laurel, Batangas, will also be vying along with Mellisa Jane Jaroda, Shagne Yaoyao, and Nicole Quinones.
In the men’s side, Surban and Flores are expected to be the favorites after bagging the silver and bronze respectively in the recent SEA Games. A total of 51 cyclists are competing in the men’s elite.
Juniors and age-group divisions are also slated to be held this weekend.
Philcycling vice-president Oscar ‘Boying’ Rodriguez said they will choose a pool of four for the women’s and men’s team.
“Pero tatlo lang ang tatakbo (sa SEA Games). We also have juniors competition. Ang pakay ng Philcycling is to have a farm team kasi meron din tayong mga international competitions. Doon kami kukuha ng future elite natin para we will nurture ‘yung junior athletes natin,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he has already requested Philcycling president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino for the pool members to train in Danao City, which is a perfect training ground being five minutes away from Cebu City.
In previous years, Danao also served as the training site for national teams ahead of the last SEA Games.