DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 May) – Two teams from Mindanao will see action in the 2011 LBC Ronda Pilipinas Cycling Tour in September, PhilCycling vice president for Mindanao Salvador Paholio Jr. said.
Paholio said Team Davao and the other squad which is composed of riders from Butuan City , Cagayan de Oro City and Mlang, Cotabato will strut their stuff against the powerhouse cycling teams from around the country in the cash-rich tour.
“The tour would be a very tough contest for our riders but surely they would compete hard and hopefully, they could make it at the top 3,” Paholio told reporters here.
The LBC Ronda Pilipinas national finals will feature a 20-day route of 11 stages. Each stage is about 140 kilometers or an estimated total distance of 1,650 kilometers.
Cash prizes amounting to P7 million are up for grabs in the race courtesy of the courier company. Both the individual champion and the team champion would bag P1 million each.
The teams need a huge amount of money for their ongoing preparation, according to Paholio.
For Team Davao alone, he estimated the riders need some P200,000 to come up with a very strong team, adding that raising the amount with barely four months to go before the event would be difficult.
“The riders need a lot of help in terms of equipment, training, uniforms and other logistics needs,” he said.
Team Davao is bannered by March McQueen Aleonar, Dexter Nonato, Roderick Donillo, Pao-Pao Urdaneta and Glen Yap. Their coach is former SEA Games gold medalist Dominic Carpio.
Aleonar and Nonato finished first and second, respectively, in the recently-concluded Mindanao Qualifying held in Malaybalay, Bukidnon
Paholio said Mayor Sara Duterte has been helping the Davao riders and hoped that she would again give assistance to the Ronda Pilipinas-bound team.
“We will just accept whatever help is given to them by cycling stakeholders and other supporters in the city,” he said.
LBC chief executive officer Santi Araneta said that the company has chosen to get involved in cycling because it is in line with the new trend in their industry to use bikes in delivering packages, parcels and documents.
“This is not a one-time deal. We have envisioned a long-term program for cycling and for LBC,” said Araneta. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)