FILIPINO riders get another chance to earn valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics with the holding of the PRUride PH 2019 road race in Subic from May 24 to 26.
The three-day event is the first professional race to be staged by British life insurer Pru Life UK and a UCI 2.2 accredited stage race.
Several international teams are expected to join the meet and give local squads a run for their money, according to Pru Life UK senior vice president and chief customer marketing officer Allan Tumbaga.
He mentioned that continental teams from countries like Hong Kong Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Sweden South Africa, Brunei, Korea, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan are among those which are coming over.
“We expect something like 13-14 international teams to compete. So we’re quite excited about it,” said Tumbaga during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum Tuesday at its new home at the Amelie Hotel Manila.
“We’ll be exposed internationally. We are very confident that we are pushing ourselves to the limit, not only for the sake of staging it, but for our athletes so they can participate and compete, for them to have a better feel of how to compete internationally, and of course, to gain points.”
Top local teams such as Go For Gold and 711 all expressed that they are up to the challenge.
“The goal I think early on is mas masaya kung maraming UCI events dito sa Pilipinas,” said Go For Gold team manager Jeremy Go in the same forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
“Hopefully we will have our best athletes gain valuable points for the country to get that elusive Olympic spot that we’re all aiming for.”
Rodriguez, the 711 team manager, said that other than earning Olympic points, the event would also help Filipino riders to warm up for the Southeast Asian Games here.
“It is very important for us that PRUride will be one of the factors to prepare the Filipino riders. From this race, to Ronda Pilipinas earlier, to the national championship and Le Tour de Filipinas, from there we’ll be able to decide who are the Filipinos to represent the country in the SEA Games,” said Rodriguez.