It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

PRURide PH cycling race kicks off in Subic


SUBIC, Zambales — A total of 156 professional cyclists from across Asia will see action in the three-day PRURide PH 2019, which starts here Friday.

Riders from Australia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines hope to improve their world rankings by earning points in the 2.2 Men’s Elite Road Race sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which is the world-governing body in the sport.

Among the 17 foreign teams competing, Malaysia’s Terengganu, Inc. TSG is the best-ranked in the Asia Tour at No. 2, followed by Hong Kong’s Pro Cycling, which is No. 8.

The Philippines will field two continental teams — 7-Eleven Cliqq Air 21 and Go For Gold — and six elite squads — Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance, Philippine Army-Bicycology, Team Tarlac, Celeste Cycles-Bianchi PH Pro Racing, Team Francis Wines, and Team Pangasinan.

The 7-Eleven Cliqq Air 21 team, which is No. 30 in the Asia Tour, is composed of Marcelo Felipe, Dominic Perez, Mervin Corpuz, Arjay Peralta, Nilo Valdez, and Bonjoe Martin.

Go For Gold, ranked No. 39, is represented by Daniel Ven Carino, Jonel Carcueva, Ismael Grospe Jr., Ronnel Hualda, Ronnilan Quita, and Elmer Navarro.

Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam have entered their respective national teams with Thai Navuti Liphongyu as the highest-ranked UCI rider at No. 493.

“We are happy to finally hold one of the three UCI-accredited races here in our country. We expect to witness healthy competition and at the same time, teamwork among Philippine teams. It has been the community’s goal to join the SEA Games or the 2020 Summer Olympics and we are happy to help them achieve this,” said Allan Tumbaga, senior vice president and chief customer marketing officer of Pru Life UK, organizer of the event, during Thursday’s press conference at the Golden Dragon Restaurant.

Also present were Prudential PLC sponsorships head Diane Pender from the United Kingdom, race technical director Ian Alacar, and PruRide PH ambassadors Kim Atienza and Gretchen Ho.

The tournament, which offers a total cash purse of PHP2 million, covers at least 400 km. around the province of Bataan starting from the Harbor Point all the way up to the peak of Mt. Samat.

Aside from the three-stage race, there will also be competitions for amateur cyclists, such as PruRide Masters, Virtual Ride, Philippine Strider Cup, and Grand Fondo in 30km, 60km and 100km categories.

To further promote health and fitness, fun activities, such as zumba sessions, arcade games, and health check stations, are also lined up during the country’s largest cycling festival.

“While cycling is an increasingly popular sport, we also want to give beginners and enthusiasts a platform to experience its fitness benefits. At PruRide PH, we hope to encourage everyone to begin or continue their healthy lifestyle,” Tumbaga said.