Ronda Pilipinas kicks off Saturday-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
ZAMBOANGA CITY will be the kick off point on Saturday for Ronda Pilipinas 2013, dubbed as the biggest nationwide cycling race covering over 2,200 kilometers through Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Mayor Celso Lobregat together with the organizers--LBC Express Inc.--presided on Tuesday a meeting of all stakeholders in this city and finalized plans for the grand event that will put the city of Zamboanga in the national cycling map.
Lobregat is extremely happy that the event starting in Zamboanga will be a big boost to the city’s tourism promotion efforts.
Lobregat urged the village chiefs and all concerned agencies to cooperate and support the holding of the activity, which will start with the pre-race event in January 11.
Joaquin Yabut, race administration director, said 12 teams composed of 96 cyclists, who underwent rigorous training, will slug it out in the grueling 21-day, 16-stage challenge covering 2,200 kilometers of 32 cities and towns in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao starting on Saturday.
The race would end in Baguio City in February 1, said Yabut.
Yabut said Ronda Pilipinas, now on its third year, is supported by Total Philippines and the MVP Sports Foundation.
The event aims to promote the different areas of the Philippines, in this case Zamboanga—through sports tourism, he said.
Starting Thursday until Friday, the 400-strong entourage of Ronda Pilipinas will arrive, as the race will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Zamboanga City Hall.
From Zamboanga City, the race will proceed to Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, then to Pagadian City, Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City and Cebu.
A pre-race event is slated on Friday with a social ride of the participating cyclists together with Zamboanga bikers, road racers, including BMX and professional riders starting at 4 p.m. at the Paseo del Mar to Pasonanca.
From Pasonanca, they will return to Paseo del Mar for the presentation of teams and other Ronda Pilipinas organizers and staff. (Bong Garcia)