Ronda Pilipinas cycling race begins with Mindanao qualifiers

THE Ronda Pilipinas 2015 fires off with the Mindanao qualifiers set February 8 and 9 in Butuan City, Cagayan de Oro, Tubod in Lanao del Norte and Dipolog.

The Visayas qualifying is set Feb. 11 and 12 in Dumaguete, Sipalay and Bacolod, while the Luzon elimination is scheduled Feb. 15 and 16 in Antipolo City and Tarlac City.

About 100 riders will qualify from the three qualifying races and into the championship round in Luzon where they will join the 2014 Ronda Pilipinas Champion Reimon Lapaza of Butuan City, the Mark Galedo-led national team and a nine-man composite European team comprised mostly of Danish cyclists.

The final event will be an eight-stage race.

Stage One is a criterium in Laguna to be followed by the Calamba-Lucena Stage Two, Lucena-Antipolo Stage Three, Bulacan-Tarlac Stage Four, Tarlac-Dagupan Stage Five, Dagupan-Baguio Stage Six, Sto. Tomas Hill Stage Seven Individual Time Trial and the Baguio Stage Eight criterium.

Ronda administration director Jack Yabut stresses the need to encourage junior riders, particularly aged 17 to 18 years old to participate.

"We're trying to lure young talents particularly the 17-18 age group. Of course, if they join, they will have their own specific rules to protect them. Overall, we want to unearth the talent out there," said Yabut.

Registration forms are available online at Riders may register two hours before Qualifying Race Day for P1,000 per entry per Stage.

The race is presented by LBC and major partner the MVP Sports Foundation and backed by Maynilad, NLEX, Standard Insurance, Petron, Greenfield City, Viking Rent A Car and Radio1 Solutions and sanctioned by PhilCycling headed by Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

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