Ronda invades Cebu-A A +A
Sunday, June 24, 2012
THE 2013 edition of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas will start early next year to pave the way for the Cebu leg, which will be done during the Sinulog week.
This was disclosed by Cebu team manager Amis Urgel, who was part of the negotiating team together with the officers and members of LBC Ronda Pilipinas, Cebu City Sports Commission and the Sinulog Foundation.
“It was the decision of Dino Araneta, the CEO of LBC, to include Cebu as one of the stages in the Ronda Pilipinas,” Urgel said.
He added that from 15 stages, they will be having about 18 stages next year. The new stages will include Zamboanga City, where the race will start. Ronda Pilipinas, the country’s premier cycling race, is usually held during the summer.
Cebu will cover two stages—one will start and finish at the Cebu Province Capitol building while the southern stage will start from the Cebu City Hall and end at the Plaza Independencia.
“This is a good development for our 2013 Sinulog celebration. This will be a another highlight in our sports component,” Sinulog Foundation executive director Ricky Ballesteros said.
He added that this will also be a good chance to showcase Cebu’s eco-tourism. One of the race advocacies is to promote “LBC’s Go Green” in order to raise awareness for environmental preservation.
Go Green has since become an integral part of all of LBC’s initiatives, with Ronda Pilipinas being the latest addition to its projects.
Urgel said that he will retain some of his cyclists such as the country’s top mountainbiker and Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist Niño Surban, Jaybop Pagnanawon, Elmer Navarro and Marvin Tapic.
“We are hoping that 2012 Best Young Rider of the Year awardee John Mier, who is a Cebuano, will be part of our all-Cebuano team for the 2013 race,” Urgel said.
Mier is part of the Team Army-RC Cola.
The 2012 race attracted 16 teams and 96 racers and took them through challenging but scenic routes in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Six-man teams of professional cyclists or elite clubs will be invited by the Ronda Pilipinas committee to join the qualifying rounds, which will start in October 2012.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 25, 2012.