OVER a hundred riders are expected to battle for 54 berths to the national final as the Ronda Pilipinas cycling tournament holds its Visayas qualifying event starting on Wednesday.
The top riders — 50 elite and four juniors — in the three-stage tournament advance to the championship round set Feb. 22 to 27.
Stage One is a 172.7-kilometer ride from Dumaguete to Sipalay, Stage Two on Thursday is a 157.8-km race in Bacolod and Stage Three on Friday is a 120-km trek from Bacolod to Cadiz.
The Luzon qualifiers offer 34 slots (30 elite, four juniors) to the finals. Stage One is a 138.9-km race in Tarlac on Feb. 16 and Stage Two is a 102.5-km battle in Antipolo on Feb. 17.
The 88 qualifiers will join last year’s winner Reimon Lapaza of Butuan, the nine-man national team led by Mark Galedo and a composite European team composed mainly of Danish riders in the national finals.
Registration forms are available online at Ronda Pilipinas' official Facebook page and Twitter account @rondapilipinas.
Riders may register two hours before qualifying race day for P1,000 per entry per stage in the event presented by LBC, supported by Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, Petron and Mitsubishi, minor sponsors Cannondale, Standard Insurance, Tech1 Corp., Maynilad and NLEX and sanctioned by PhilCycling with TV5 and Sports Radio as media partners.