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    All set for Ronda Pilipinas Luzon qualifying races

    Feb 14, 2015

    RONDA Pilipinas 2015 holds the two-stage Luzon qualifiying races on Monday in Tarlac and on Tuesday in Antipolo City.

    Stage One is a 138.9-kilometer lap, starting and ending in Tarlac while Stage Two is a 102.5 race also opening and concluding in Antipolo.

    The Luzon eliminations offer 34 spots, while the Visayas qualifying races staked 54 slots to the national finals of Ronda Pilipinas 2015 set Feb. 22-27 from Sta. Rosa in Laguna to Baguio City.

    Forty 40 cyclists led by Boots Ryan Cayubit of 7-Eleven reached the finals through three-stage Visayas qualifier last week.

    Joining Cayubit in the finale are teammate Marcelo Felipe, Team Cebu's Rey Martin, Army's Irish Valenzuela, 7-Eleven's Baler Ravina and Cris Joven, Leonel Dimaano, LBC's Junrey Navarra and Army's Alvin Benosa, who rounded out the top 10.

    Stage winners Jaybop Pagnanawon and Mark Juluis Bonzo along with Denver Casayuran, Reynaldo Navarro, Oscar Rindole, Merculio Ramos, Jr., John Rene Mier, Tots Oledan, Nino Surban, Dominic Perez, Marvin Tapic and Ronnel Hualda were some of the notable names who made the cut.

    Several new faces will also race in the championship including Kenneth Solis, Jhunvie Pagnanawon and Daniel Ven Carino and Cesar Lapaza, Jr.

    Solis topped the Under-23 section, Pagnanawon is Jaybop's brother whose father and coach Rolando won the fabled 1986 Marlboro Tour, Carino is the younger brother of El Joshua Carino and Lapaza is a sibling of last year's champion Reimon.

    Also making it were Elmer Navarro, Arjay Peralta, Warren Vinan, Edwin Nacario, Leo Jade Lopez, Roy Carbonera, Lord Anthony del Rosario, Kenneth Lacuesta, Alvin Mandi, Roel Quintoy, Jose Renato Fuentes, Jr., Jerry Buhain, Ronnie Urdaneta, Mark Darrel Echavez and Peter Gregorio.

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    Already seeded to the finals are Lapaza, the national team spearheaded by Mark Galedo, and a guest European composite team all with an eye to the top purse worth P1 million.

    Alfie Catalan, a member of the national team who did not make the squad in the Asian Cycling Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand last week due to immigration problems, was the lone big name who didn't qualify after failing to finish a stage.

    The tall, heavyset Catalan, a multiple Southeast Asian Games track medalist, however, can still try in the Luzon stages of the race presented by LBC, supported by Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, Petron, Mitsubishi, Cannondale, Standard Insurance, Tech1 Corp., Maynilad and NLEX and sanctioned by PhilCycling with TV5 and Sports Radio as media partners.

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