FILIPINO riders get another chance to earn ranking points in the race for qualification to the Tokyo Olympics with the holding of the PRUride PH 2019 road race in Subic from May 24 to 26.
The three-day event is the first professional race is a UCI 2.2 classification race being staged by British life insurer Pru Life UK.
Pru Life UK senior vice president Allan Tumbaga said continental teams from countries like Hong Kong Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Sweden South Africa, Brunei, Korea, Vietnam and Uzbekistan are seeing action.
“We expect something like 13-14 international teams to compete. So we’re quite excited about it,” said Tumbaga during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday at its new home at the Amelie Hotel Manila.
“We’ll be exposed internationally. We are very confident that we are pushing ourselves to the limit, not only for the sake of staging it, but for our athletes so they can participate and compete, for them to have a better feel of how to compete internationally, and of course, to gain points.
Top local teams such as Go For Gold and 711 all expressed that they are up to the challenge.
“The goal I think early on is mas masaya kung maraming UCI events dito sa Pilipinas,” said Go For Gold team manager Jeremy Go in the same forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. “Hopefully we will have our best athletes gain valuable points for the country to get that elusive Olympic spot that we’re all aiming for.”
Ric Rodriguez, the 711 team manager, said that other than earning Olympic points, the event would also help Filipino riders to warm up for the Southeast Asian Games.
“It is very important for us that PRUride will be one of the factors to prepare the Filipino riders. From this race, to Ronda Pilipinas earlier, to the national championship and Le Tour de Filipinas, from there we’ll be able to decide who are the Filipinos to represent the country in the SEA Games,” said Rodriguez.
Go For Gold riders Ismael Grospe, Ronnel and Edz Hualda joined 711’s Marcelo Felipe, Philippine Navy’s Ronald Oranza and PRUride Philippine Ambassadors Gretchen Ho and Zoren Legaspi during the same session.
The bikefest fires off with a criterium on April 7 at Filinvest City in Alabang. Ho and Legaspi are expected to see action with competition set in different categories such as fixed gear, mountain bike and road bike.
Registration for the criterium event is open until March 31 at pruride.ph