FILIPINO cyclists will battle for spots to the national team as PhilCycling stages its National Championships for Road unfurling next week in Tagaytay, which celebrates its 84th founding anniversary the same day.

“The City of Tagaytay rolls out the red carpet for the National Championships for Road as the major PhilCycling race coincides with the city’s biggest celebration,” said Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino.

“And this major sports event marks a victory not only for Tagaytay City, but for the entire country as well, against the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” she added.

Co-presented by Standard Insurance, MVP Sports Foundation and Smart, PhilCycling president Abraham Tolentino said the top five in road, Individual Time Trial (ITT) and criterium in the men and women elite categories will be named to the national squad for the rest of the year.

The four-day event will hold the criterium on Tuesday, the ITT the next day, women’s road race on Thursday, and men’s road race on Friday.

The Philippine Olympic Committee president and congressman from Tagaytay City also said those who will make the national team will benefit with the training they will receive while boosting their stocks for possible inclusion in the contingent to be sent in next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Around 400 have registered online at press time but the PhilCycling will screen all participants especially those seeing action in the younger categories based on a rider’s skill set to conform with regulations on the maximum number of athletes that are allowed for a particular event and road condition. — Joey Villar