Cebu ready for Ronda; locals to use homecourt advantage-A A +A
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
CEBU CITY -- All is set Thursday for the fourth and fifth stages of the Ronda Pilipinas 2013, with Team Cebu-Y101 FM itching to take the podium and advance their standing using their “homecourt advantage.”
In the last three stages of the Ronda, Team Cebu lagged in sixth place of the 12 teams in the overall team standing. With the fourth and fifth stages held in Cebu, the team wishes to capitalize their knowledge of the terrain to their advantage.
Three of the eight members of the team hailed from Cebu while the others were from various parts of the country.
The three Cebuanos are: Jaybop Pagnanawon, Marvin Tapic, and Junvie Pagnanawon.
“Confident mi ma first kay naa mi homecourt advantage ug anad na mi sa rota (We are confident we will win first place since we have the homecourt advantage and we are already familiar with the event),” said Jaybop Pagnanawon.
“Pirmi mi mag ampo ni Señor Sto. Niño nga unta maka pabor mi dinhi sa Cebu ug nga malayo mi sa disgrasya labi na sa kuyaw na rota (We always pray to Sr. Santo Niño to help us win the race and keep us safe especially in dangerous routes),” he added.
The two Cebu legs are considered as the make-or-break stages. If Team Cebu makes a good performance here all the way to Baguio City, they have a big chance to top this year’s race, Ronda Pilipinas executive project director Moe Chulani said in last week’s press conference.
Marvin Tapic said their team is more united this year with the addition of veteran members from outside Cebu who taught them new strategies and good practices, which the team lacked during the past Ronda Pilipinas races.
Tapic said they will strive to outrun other teams in the two stages totaling 291 kilometers of pure endurance.
“Amo gyung paningkamotan kay amo ning balwarte ug kabisado namo ang kalsada,” Tapic added.
The team expressed their gratitude to all Cebuanos for the unwavering support they have received since the training phase of the team.
According to Junvie Pagnawon, they train and practice for an average of six to seven hours a day.
When asked on their advice to fellow Cebuanos who dream of joining Cycling competitions like the Ronda, Junvie said: “Practice lang sa mo maskin wala moy sponsor, training lang mo’g inyoha kay og makusgan namo daghan na’g mosuporta ninyo, kugi lang.”
Aside from the three Cebuanos, Team Cebu will be represented by Warren Davadilla, one of the former winners of the Marlboro Tour, Bernard Luzon, Emelito Atilano, and Reynato Sambrano.
Stage 4 will start at the Plaza Independencia at 9 a.m. of January 17 and will have the riders going to the southern towns of Cebu.
Stage 5 will start at Lapu-Lapu City Hall on January 18 and will take the riders on the northern part of the province. It was supposed to start at the Provincial Capitol but the situation over there is not exactly conducive to sports.
Meanwhile, unlike in the two previous Ronda Pilipinas races, the succeeding races will be set every January starting this year, said Jocel De Guzman, Media director of Ronda 2013.
He said this is a perfect time for a cycling race that promotes local sports tourism since Ronda will now be an event to look forward to as part of major local fiestas in the country, including Sinulog in Cebu and Panagbenga in Baguio City.
De Guzman also said that in the next races, they are looking for other provinces and localities never been featured in Ronda.
Ronda Pilipinas is an opportunity for Filipinos to strive harder and be more competitive in the sport of cycling to make them at par with cyclists from other countries in the international scene.
De Guzman admitted that Filipino cyclists have been left out from other countries and with the national staging of the Ronda Pilipinas, they can improve their performance.
Earlier today (Wednesday), Ronda Pilipinas participants and organizers held their corporate social responsibility with their Linis Bayan & Linis Dagat activities.
De Guzman also thanked the cooperation and support of the local governments in the conduct of the Ronda Pilipinas. (Nera Mariz Puyo and Jolina Ylaya - USJR MassCom Interns/BJA/Sunnex)