The road to Thailand and Hanoi starts at the Clark Freeport Zone on Saturday, with the PhilCycling National Trials for Road where the country’s elite riders jostle for slots on the national team to two important regional competitions set later this year.
The women’s 17.1-km individual time trial (ITT) will usher in the two-day trials—one of the major criteria for selecting national team members—at 8:30 a.m., followed immediately by the men’s 24.6-km ITT. The men’s and women’s criterium will follow at midday at the Clark Parade Grounds.
Bases Conversion Development Authority president and CEO Secretary Vince Dizon and Clark Development Corp. president and CEO PBGen. Manuel Gaerlan (Ret.), along with PhilCycling and Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in the ceremonial flag off. Joining them is BCDA Senior vice president (Corporate Services Group) Arrey Perez.
“Clark will not only be the epicenter of cycling, but of the entire Philippine sports this weekend as we conduct the trials amid strict health and safety protocols,” Tolentino said. “And with these trials, we hope to show everyone that sports is capable of coming back.”
The road races on an out-and-back course—98.40 kms for women and 147.60 kms for men—of the trials presented by Standard Insurance, Smart, MVP Sports Foundation, BCDA and CDC are scheduled on Sunday.
A total of 111 cyclists—98 men and 13 women—are entered in the trials that are 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.
The Philippines will be sending riders to the Asian Road Cycling Championships set from August 16 to 23 in Rayong, Thailand, and the 31st Southeast Asian Games scheduled from November 21 to December 2 in Vietnam.
The races will be staged under a bubble environment as prescribed by the Central Luzon Regional Task Force, Office of Civil Defense, Department of Health, Philippine National Police, Province of Pampanga and the Department of Tourism.