IRISH Valenzuela has joined CCN Superteam with hopes of reclaiming the title he last won five years ago in the Ronda Pilipinas 2018.
The 2013 Ronda champion said he has worked hard in the last five months to get back into competition shape after missing the last three editions of the annual event.
The race presented by LBC fires off on March 3 in Vigan and ends on the 18th in Alabang.
The 30-year-old Valenzuela, from Albay, looks to join Santy Barnachea and Jan Paul Morales as two-time winners of the event.
Barnachea was the inaugural winner in 2011 and won it again in 2015 while Morales topped the last two stagings.
“I’m just focused on winning the Ronda again,” said Valenzuela, who booked his spot in the main race via the first of two qualifying events in Tarlac City last November.
Valenzuela will be riding with veteran Warren Davadilla, winner of the Marlboro Tour in 1998 and champion of the Golden Tour in 2005.
Julius Mark Bonzo, whose father Romeo and uncle Modesto were former Tour champions, is also in the squad along with Jemico Brosio, Sherwin Carrera, Marven Aleonar, Juan Carlos Barrios and Jeffson Sotto.
The top prize in the 12-stage race is P1 million.
Bike Xtreme, Army-Bictcology Shop, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Sur, South Luzon, Tarlac Province, Go for Gold and Go for Gold Developmental Team 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.