The postponement of the Hanoi 31st Southeast Asian Games didn’t matter at all to the 111 cyclists vying in the PhilCycling National Trials for Road that hits the road under a bubble set up on Saturday at the Clark Freeport Zone’s well-maintained roads.
“It’s disappointing [SEA Games postponement], but as an athlete, I will still give my best,” said Mark Lexer Galedo, one of the veterans competing in the Trials presented by Standard Insurance, Smart, MVP Sports Foundation, the Bases Conversion Development Authority and Clark Development Corp.
Galedo, the men’s individual time trial gold medalist in the Myanmar 2013 SEA Games as well as the 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas and 2012 Ronda Pilipinas champion, is entered in both the ITT and men’s criterium of the trials also supported by Go for Gold, Chooks-to-Go, GAC Motor, Gatorade, Versa, 7-Eleven, Le Tour de Filipinas, 7-Eleven, UBE Express Inc., Powerade, Wilkins, Coca-Cola, Shimano, Bike-X and MadCrank.
Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance teammates George Oconer, last year’s Ronda Pilipinas winner, and veteran Ronald Oranza as well as Go For Gold leader Ronnel Hualda also vowed to fight it off in the trials that also feature the women’s ITT and criterium (today) and the road races for both genders tomorrow (Sunday).
“These are the national trials and as national athletes, a lot is expected of us,” Oconer said.
Today’s (Saturday) races start at 8 a.m. with the women’s ITT followed by the men’s race-against-the-clock contest and at midday the criterium.
But activities at the Clark Parade Grounds get going at 6 a.m. as all participants—riders, race officials and staff—need to undergo Antigen tests. Everyone involved in the races also underwent RT-PCR tests as prescribed by the Regional Task Force-Central Luzon.
Host Vietnam officially announced the SEA Games postponement on Thursday because of the uncurbed Covid-19 cases in the region.