Sports Eye

2020 Ronda Pilipinas routes bared

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

FOR the first time after many years of absence, the country’s longest cycling road race, “Ronda Pilipinas”, will ride through Pangasinan on February 29 as one of the sixth stage terminals and, on the seventh stage start on March 1, which will be hosted by our capital town Lingayen. This was officially confirmed by Ronda’s chief organizer Moe Chulani after our meeting with the sports-minded Gov. Amado “Pogi” Espino III last month at Urduja building, Yes, my big thanks to Gov. Pogi and to Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo N. Bataoil for giving the go-signal for the sixth stage finish and the seventh stage start.

National scribes say that without Pangasinan stage in any multi-stage bikefest with the participation of our local bets, would not be a complete bikathon because Pangasinan is the breeding ground of Philippine cycling. Also, sans Baguio City stage finish, regarded as the most challenging and decisive lap because of its taxing mountain climbs, would not also be a complete cycling road race. I certainly agree.

Ronda Pilipinas was born in 2011 and Umingan’s proud son Santy Barnachea won that initial event. He duplicated that feat unexpectedly in 2015 at 38 years of age, the first to win the Ronda diadem twice and the oldest of all Tour champions in the history of Philippine cycling since its birth in 1955. Barnachea is also the first ever to win four national Tour titles: the 2002 Tour of Calabarzon, 2006 Padyak Pinoy and Ronda twice. Ronald Oranza of Villasis was the second Pangasinense to win the coveted Ronda tiara who won it last year. This year was won by a Tour de France veteran the 42 year-old Francisco Mancebo of Spain. Oranza came in second with just a little three minutes behind.

Here  are the routes:
Stage 1 – (February 23) Sorsogon City to Sorsogon City; Stage 2 – (February 24) Sorsogon City to Legaspi City; Stage 3 – (February 25) Legaspi City to Naga City (transit to Daet after the race); Stage 4 – (February 26) Daet to Quezon Province; Stage 5 – (February 27) Quezon Province to Tagaytay City (transit to Lingayen after the race); Stage 6 – (February 29) Lingayen to Lingayen via Labrador (Domalandan), Sual, Alaminos City, Bani, Banganoda junction (Agno), Mabini via Dakok junction, back to Alaminos City (Don Pedro Braganza boulevard); Stage 7 – (March 1) Lingayen to Palayan City; Stage 8 – (March 2) Palayan City to Baguio City via Marcos Highway); Stage 9 – (March 3) Pugo La Union to Vigan City; Stage 10 – (March 4) Vigan City criterium.

Chulani pointed out that a team should compose of six riders with three staff and a team driver. Team registration fee is P250,000.00.

Our elite Pangasinan cyclists were spread out to different teams namely: Oranza, Jay Lampawog and Bonijoe Martin of Villasis, the brothers Joshua and Daniel Ven Carino, the siblings Warren and Mark Julius Bordeos of Laoac, Dominic Perez of Sto. Tomas, Dennis Gabaldon of San Manuel, to name some. We’re contemplating a plan to form a Pangasinan Developmental Team composed of six teenage riders to participate. Hopefully it pushes through. See you there.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

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