THE second and last qualifying race to the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2018 race proper in March next year unfolds Saturday with 170 of the participating 200 cyclists seeking for the remaining 38 spots at the Danao City Hall and ending at the Plaza Rizal in Danao, Cebu.
The last 38 qualifiers in this one-day race will join 20 seeded riders from last year and the 38 others who made it through the grueling first qualifier in Tarlac City last month to the main, 11-stage race staking a cool P1 million to the champion.
Navy-Standard Insurance’s Jan Paul Morales, last year’s champion, and former Ronda kings Santy Barnachea and Irish Valenzuela are spicing up the race and competing even though they have already made it the cut.
The 41-year-old Barnachea, who won this annual race twice, and Valenzuela, who topped the second edition in 2013, were among the first qualifiers in Tarlac and both are using this race for their respective preparations.
LBC Ronda project director Moe Chulani said they remain focused on producing future champions.
“Our thrust is still the same, to give aspiring young riders a chance to pursue their cycling dreams,” said Chulani.
The stage covers 161 kilometers of relatively flat roads with some assets in the early part and will pass through Carmen, Catmon, Borbon, Bogo, San Remigio, Tabulan before retyrning to Borobon, Catmon, Carmen and eventually, Danao City.
The champion here will receive P30,000 while the second and third placers get to take home P20,000 and P10,000, respectively, courtesy of LBC.