Ronda Pilipinas 2013 starting in Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/11 January) – All is set for the holding of the biggest nationwide cycling race dubbed as “Ronda Pilipinas 2013,” which will kick-off on Saturday (January 12) in this city.

Now on its third year, the cycling race will be a 21-day, 16-stage challenge covering 2,200 kilometers in 32 cities and towns in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon.

The race, which will be participated by 12 teams composed of 96 cyclists from all over the country, will end on February 1 in Baguio City, according to race administration director Joaquin Yabut.

Yabut said the primary aim of the event is continue the pursuit of providing a strong base for the improvement of the sport, and “for the Filipino cyclist to be back on the highest possible level in Asia as a platform for competing with the best of the world.”

He said said the other equally important objective of Ronda Pilipinas is to promote the different areas of the Philippines through sports tourism.

Mayor Celso Lobregat said Ronda Pilipinas will “definitely” put Zamboanga City in the sports map, and if this will be highly publicized and advertised, will be good for this city.

The entourage of Ronda Pilipinas has started arriving on Wednesday in this city ahead of the race day on Saturday.

The starting point is from the Paseo del Mar at 9 a.m.

From this city, the race will proceed to Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, then to Pagadian City, Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City and Cebu City, with Baguio City as the end point.

Participants to this year’s event paraded this city’s streets in a fun ride Friday afternoon in preparation for the big race on Saturday.

The fun ride started at 4 p.m. at Paseo del Mar, passing Climaco Avenue all the way to Pasonanca down to Tumaga, and back to Paseo del Mar passing through Veterans Avenue.

The activity was capped with the presentation of the 12 participating teams and the Ronda Pilipinas crew to the public. (MindaNews)