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Nuvali hosts country’s biggest trail bike race

 NUVALI continues its advocacy of a balanced lifestyle and a sustainable community by hosting the 2016 Dirt Weekend Bike Festival, the biggest and best off-road bike event of the country this year to be held November 11 and 12.

“Mountain biking and the balanced lifestyle we promote here in Nuvali naturally go together. This is close to our heart. Biking is something that is promoted well in Nuvali. We hope to change the attitude of Filipinos about transport. Riding bicycles is a good alternative to driving cars. It is economical and socially sensitive,” said Nuvali General Manager John Estacio.

Bicycle riders kick up a cloud of dirt as they ride off the road and into the bicycle trails of Nuvali.
The race in November marks Nuvali’s eighth year of assembling cyclists of varying skill levels from the country’s different provinces as well as from other countries to participate in the Dirt Weekend Bike Festival.

Nuvali again partnered with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the international governing body on sports cycling events. This year the race also serves as Asia’s qualifying leg for the 2017 Cross Country Marathon World Championship on Nov. 11 to 12.

2015 Dirt Weekend Bike Festival women’s category winner Ilda Pereira negotiates a Nuvali bicycle trail.
“Nuvali is known as a popular destination for mountain bikers with its natural traits and dedicated lanes that encourage biking as a sport and a mode of transportation. We would like to take this a step further and serve as venue for world-class competition in order to recognize local talents as well as give our athletes a chance to compete globally,” said Estacio.

Over 2,000 enthusiasts and elite level riders are expected to take part in the weekend bike festival.

Three riders chase after each other as they race along a bicycle trail which climbs up a steep hill.
The Nuvali executive explained that the Dirt Weekend Bike Festival has grown over the years and has become much more than just a race.

“It’s a community event. We have participants from across all social and economic strata. This is because the race welcomes everyone. It’s a bicycle race not just for the elite riders but also casual and weekend riders,” said Estacio.

Nuvali General Manager John Estacio talks about the 2016 Dirt Weekend Bike Festival. With him are PhilCycling Deputy Secretary General Kamilla Sumagui (right) and Athena Mendoza who is a member of the Nuvali race organizing committee.
The bike festival is not just a race for corporate executives and businessmen but also for company employees and members of the middle class according to Estacio.

The Nuvali GM said the experience gained from holding the race over the years has helped them grow and improve.

“Dirt Weekend is a platform for us to demonstrate the sustainability of the community. The route is 45 kilometers which participants will traverse twice. After the race you can expect that the trails remain there. The trails will be permanent features of the course for everyone to use in the years to come,” said Estacio.

The race is accredited by both the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the international governing body for the sport, and its local affiliate, the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines (Philcycling).

Estacio said the race has grown over the years to become one of the country’s premium mountain biking events. It has been held yearly since 2009 at the 2,290-hectare Ayala Land estate. The first race in 2009 drew about 500 participants. This year, Estacio said they expect 2,000 to join.

According to Athena Mendoza, member of the organizing committee, one of the country’s top riders Alvin Benosa will make a bid to improve on his performance last year in this race when he placed third overall.

Benosa was third behind eventual men’s champion Milton Javier Ramos Gomez of the Honduras and second placer Jerra Vatchatam Tawatchai of Thailand.

In the women’s category local rider Melissa Jaroda placed third behind first placer Ilda Pereira of Portugal and second placer Yazid Kuzmawati of Indonesia last year.

Their podium finishes qualified them  for the 2016 World Mountain Bike Championship in Laissac, France.

The ever-improving race is world class and has attracted some of the best bicycle riders all over the world.

“We put our best foot forward. There are the best amenities for the contestants including air-conditioned toilets. We prepare for the comfort and safety of the riders. Even the foreign riders appreciate all the attention to detail,” said Mendoza.

Registration is all online. Participants can register at nuvali.ph/dirtweekend2016 or m.nuvali.ph/dirtweekend2016 for mobile devices. There will be registration booths for assisted online registration in selected events and bike shops to be announced on Facebook.

Registration fee is P925 for Dirt Weekend Cross Country Fun Race and P1,300 for the UCI marathon World Series qualifying race.

Participants should be at least 15 years old to join Dirt Weekend. Those who wish to join the UCI Marathon World Series qualifying race must be at least 19 years old.

All riders to cross the finish line will be given finishers’ medal while cash prizes will be given to the top three finishers at the Fun Race. The top 20 and 10 finishers for the Cross Country Marathon Men Elite and Women Elite will likewise receive cash.

Since it started in 2009, the Dirt Weekend Bicycle Festival has grown tremendously. It is now an annual platform for local cyclists not only to showcase their skills but more importantly improve their performance as they eventually become globally competitive.

Topics: Nuvali , 2016 Dirt Weekend Bike Festival , Trail bike race
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