THE Ronda Pilipinas is putting up a P1 million prize to the cyclist who finishes on top after 12 days of racing next year.
The 2017 race fires off a in the Ilocos region on Feb. 4 and will end in Iloilo City on March 4.
Organizers hope to again find talents from the countryside after least year seeing Ranlen Maglantay turn heads with fine performances, pedaling with running shoes on a hand me down bike.
Maglantay did not make it to the top finishers’ podium but has been added to the automatic qualifiers for next year’s event. Rustom Lim topped the event.
"We believe that somewhere out there, there are gems in the rough waiting to be discovered like Ranlen Maglantay," said Ronda sports development head Moe Chulani.
Maglantay leads a 70-man group who participated in the last edition who are already qualified for the 2017 race although they would still need to confirm their participation by registering.
Around 60 more slots are available as LBC Ronda holds two qualifying races, one in Subic coinciding with Giro de Filipinas set Nov. 3 and 4 in Subic Bay and another tentatively scheduled in the first week of December in Bacolod City.
LBC Ronda will start on Feb. 4 with Ilocos Sur-Ilocos Norte Stage One followed by the Ilocos Sur Stage Two criterium the next day.
Stage Three is a ride from Angeles City in Pampanga to Subic on Feb. 8. The Naga-San Jose Stage Four individual time trial is set Feb. 14 followed by the Pili-Daet Stage Five on Feb. 16 and Daet to Unisan Stage Six on Feb. 17.
Stage Seven is set at Paseo Sta. Rosa in Laguna on Feb. 19, Tagaytay-Batangas-Tagaytay Stage Eight on Feb. 19, Calamba-Antipolo Stage Nine on Feb. 23 and Antipolo Stage 10 criterium on Feb. 24.
Iloilo City will host Stages 11 and 12 of the event presented by LBC in partnership with Mitsubishi, ASG Sports Group and Donen.