ARMY-Bicycology will try to recover from losing skipper Cris Joven to injury as it competes in the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2019 set to start on Friday in Iloilo City.
The 31-year-old Joven injured his left elbow during training in Cavite two weeks back, leaving the Armymen minus their leader and top rider as they compete against some of the best riders not just in the country but in Asia and the world as well.
Warren Bordeos will fill the spot left by Mr. Joven while Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Alfie Catalan takes over as captain for a team composed of Reynaldo Navarro, Marvin Tapic, Mark Julius Bordeos and Robinson Estevez.
“Cris Joven will be a big spot to fill because he’s our best rider and leader of this team,” said Army-Bicycology manager Eric Buhain, who has sponsored the Armymen for the second straight year.
“But we will do our best to be as competitive without him because we will not only represent Army but the country as well,” he added.
Army-Bicycology will have its hands full against not just local competition from Navy-Standard Insurance, Tarlac, Team Franzia, Bike Xtreme and 7-Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Phls but a strong foreign challenge as well from Terengganu, Matrix, Nex Cycling Team, Korail Team Korea, Custom Cycling Indonesia, Cambodia Cycling, PGN Road Cycling, and Sri Lanka Navy Cycling Team.
For the first time after eight editions of this annual race considered as the biggest in the country, Ronda will be sanctioned by the UCI or the world governing cycling body and will stake qualifying points to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The event is presented by LBC, powered by MVP Sports Foundation and supported by Versa 2-Way Radio, Juan Movement Partylist, Joel P Longares Foundation, Standard Insurance, Bike Xtreme, Green Planet, Prolite, Celeste Cycles, Maynilad, 3Q Sports, Boy Kanin, Mega World, Festive Walk, Seda Atria and LBC Foundation and in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Iloilo City and the Province of Guimaras.
The race opens with the 197.6-km Iloilo-Iloilo Stage One on Feb. 8.