MANILA, Philippines - LBC Ronda Pilipinas goes grassroots when it stages its fifth edition next year with participating teams told to field at least three under-23 riders in their six-man roster.
Ronda sports development head Moe Chulani said each squad will have to enlist one junior cyclist aged 17 to 18 years old and two more 19 to 22-year-old riders outside of the three elite members above 23 years old.
“LBC Ronda Pilipinas is veering towards to helping the country’s grassroots development program in cycling because we know there are many untapped talents out there,” said Chulani.
Ronda’s new ruling is part of LBC’s effort to produce a bumper crop of riders who could be represent the country in international races like the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games.
Chulani also announced that the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2015 edition will have a new format compared to the previous four editions. This time, Ronda will hold three legs, one in Mindanao, another in the Visayas and the last in Luzon.
The Mindanao and Visayas stages will be opened exclusively to Filipino cyclists spread through 10 to 12 teams with the top half of it advancing the Luzon stage where they will be joined by an equal number of foreign contingents.
The Mindanao leg will be a four-stage race set to pass through Cagayan de Oro, Iligan via Marawi, Malaybalay in Bukidnon, Butuan City and Dinahilayan also in Bukidnon while the Cebu leg is another four-stage race to be held in Dumaguete, Bacolod, Cebu via Toledo and Lapu Lapu ending at Mt. View Resort.
The International race set in Luzon will have six stages consisting of the Batangas to Lucena via Laguna, Lucena to Antipolo, Quezon City to Tarlac, Tarlac to Dagupan, Dagupan to Baguio and Baguio City stages.
Expected to participate this early are the LBC-MVP Sports Foundation team, 7-Eleven/Roadbike under Bong Sual, Navy-Standard Insurance and Cycleline Butuan, led by last year’s champion Reimone Lapaza.