CRIS Joven seeks to improve on his third-place last year as he rides for Army-Bicycology Shop in the Ronda Pilipinas 2018.
Joven finished behind Jan Paul Morales and Navy-Standard Insurance teammate Rudy Roque despite coming in with little preparation and is confident he can challenge for the title in the 12-stage race firing off on March 3.
“Compared to last year, I’m better prepared now so hopefully I could contend and challenge them again,” said Joven of Iriga, Camarines Sur.
Joven will be riding with Alfie Catalan, Merculio Ramos Jr., Marvin Tapic, Reynaldo Navarro and Alvin Benosa as they challenge Morales and former champions Santy Barnachea of Team Franzia and Iris Valenzuela of CCN Superteam.
The other members of the Army-Bicyclogy team are Lord Anthony del Rosario and Kenneth Solis.
The winner of the race presented by LBC will get P1 million.
The race starts with the 40-kilometer Vigan criterium Stage One on March 3 with the 155.4km Vigan-Pagudpud race set the next day.
The third stage is a 223.5-km Pagudpud to Tuguegarao race on March 5 followed by the 135.2-km Tuguegarao-Isabela Stage Four on March 6.
The 179.4-km Isabela-Nueva Ecija Stage Five is set on March 8, followed by the 111.8-km Nueva Ecija-Tarlac stage on March 9.
Tarlac hosts the 31.5-km Individual Time Trial on March 10 and the 42.14-km Team Time Trial the next day.
Stage Nine is a 207.2km Silang-Tagaytay race on March 15, with the 147.8-km Tagaytay-Calaca race set the next day followed by the 92.72-km Calaca-Calaca Stage 11.
The race ends with the 50km Filinvest Alabang criterium on March 18.
Tarlac Province, Go for Gold, Go for Gold Developmental team, South Luzon, Ilocos Sur Province, Nueva Ecija and Team Bike Xtreme are also fielding teams in the race presented by LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation, CCN, Petron, Versa.ph, 3Q Sports Event Management, Inc., Boy Kanin, Franzia, Standard Insurance, Bike Xtreme, SH+, Guerciotti, Prolite, Green Planet, Maynilad, NLEX Cycling, Lightwater, LBC Foundation and PhilCycling.