PRUride PH is the country’s largest annual cycling festival in the Philippines. It aims to engage the growing cycling community in the country; raise awareness on cycling as a sustainable, alternative mode of transport; and promote health and wellness.
The cycling festival has been around since 2016.
In its 3rd year, PRUride PH has launched its newest brand campaign, “We Do,” which focuses on health, wealth and innovation.
Aside from cycling activities, PRUride PH 2019 festivities have included other highly anticipated family-oriented activities such as Zumba sessions, inflatable playground, massage and health check stations, face paint booths, mini concerts, among others.
PRUride PH 2019 has three components: the competitive races, the non-competitive races, and the virtual races.
Concerning the competitive and non-competitive races, PRUride PH categorizes them into:
- UCI 2.2 Men’s Elite Race
- Masters’ Races, and
- Gran Fondo
The UCI 2.2 Men’s Elite is a competitive race and a three-day bikathon. The three-day stage road race covers rougly 400 kms of grueling and challenging Zambales and Bataan terrains.
Likewise, the Masters’ Races are competitive races and have four categories, namely:
- 20 to 29 Category
- 30 to 39 Category, and
- Open Women’s
On the other hand, the much-awaited Gran Fondo or Big Ride has three categories, e.g.:
- Gran Fondo 30
- Gran Fondo 60, and
- Gran Fondo 100
These above categories are noncompetitive races slated within Subic Bay Metropolitan Area this year.
PRUride PH 2019 main event, the three-day UCI 2.2 Men’s Elite race, has a total length of roughly 400 kilometers.
UCI 2.2. MEN’S ELITE RACE
The first-ever PRUride PH 2019 UCI 2.2 Men’s Elite race was a highly attended race comprised of twelve Continental teams, eight Elite Clubs, and five National Teams that could chalk up points to qualify for entry to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Thus, the cycling festival has become the largest cycling contingent ever assembled in the history of Philippine cycling.
Stage 1 covers the distance of about 130 kilometers while Stage 2, or the Queen Stage, has a length of about 165 kilometers, and the shortest stage is the final stage, which has an official length of almost 100 kilometers—after the race officials curtailed the initial 108 km-race distance.
The race was staged around the Zambales and Bataan Provinces.
Initially, Go For Gold Developmental rider and Novo Ecijano youngster, Ismael Grospe, dominated the Stage 1 of PRUride PH 2019. The Go For Gold younster also bagged 4 of 5 stage awards given by PRUride PH 2019, such as the blue CCN Jersey or Best Filipino Rider, the Black Rudy Project Jersey or Best Young Rider, the Green Robinsons Bank Jersey or Sprint Leadership, and lastly the much-coveted Red PRUlife UK Jersey or Overall Leadership.
On the other hand, the remaining jersey, the orange Gatorade Jersey or King of the Mountain, was awarded to the 33-year-old Hyo-suk Gong of the LX Cycling Team of Korea.
Meanwhile, the Eritrean Daniel Habtemichael of 7-Eleven Cliqq Air 21 Road Bike was the 3rd placer of the stage one race.
On 25 May 2019, twenty-five (25) teams, eighteen of them were foreigners, competed anew in the succeeding and grueling Queen stage (2) of PRUride PH 2019.
The road warriors traversed the two mountainous and historical spots of Bataan, like Mt. Mariveles, with an elevation of 300 meters or so, and the dreaded Mt. Samat National Shrine, with an altitude of about 555 meters above sea level (MASL).
Upon reaching the uphill leading to Mt. Samat, two marquee riders from Australia’s Oliver’s Real Food Racing and 7-Eleven Cliqq Air 21 Road Bike Philippines had an intense and close-run race along the last stretch—the last 9 kilometers going up to the base of Mt. Samat National Shrine.
According to Marcelo Felipe, it was a tall order to outpace the South African stalwart, Brendon Davids, considering the latter had become aggressive, consistent, and gone wild from the very beginning.
In the last 800 meters, Brendon Davis maintained his strength and dominated the penultimate stage with a clocking of 4 hours, 40 minutes and 55 seconds—leaving Marcelo Felipe 8 seconds behind.
Despite the eight second-difference of Davis, Marcelo Felipe still led by 47 seconds against his archrival Brendon Davis in the general overall individual classification with a cumulative clocking of 7:57:15:37 and dominated stage 2.
On 26 May 2019, prior to the final Stage of PRUride PH 2019 Men’s Elite Race, as scheduled, the starting gun was fired off signaling the start of the highly anticipated Gran Fondo or the big ride.
Gran Fondo 100 participants were the first to be released in the start and finish area, precisely five in the morning of 26 May 2019, at Harbor Point in Subic Bay.
After sixty minutes , it was followed by Gran Fondo 60 participants. The last to be released in the start and finish area at 6:30 am were the participants of Gran Fondo 30.
Gran Fondo 100 and 60 allow participants to enjoy a safe, well-organized, time ride while Gran Fondo 30 gives novice cyclists the same riding experience of a Gran Fondo with a manageable ride distance.
The total participants of Gran Fondo registered 1,300 attendees on this day according to the PRUlife UK Head of Sponsorship, Ms. Diane Pender.
Meanwhile, the Masters’ Races with four categories such as 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and Open Women’s started at 11:30 in the cloudy morning of 26 May 2019.
From the original 74 kilometer-route, race officials decided to shorten the Masters’ race to 50 kilometers. The 20-29 category was the first to be released.
The last 1.5 kilometers were very crucial for the solo leader Go For Gold Developmental rider Marcryan Lago as he endured the sudden downpour en route to the finish line on San Bernardo Rd in Subic Bay. Shortly, Marc Ryan Lago conquered the 20-29 Masters’ Race category.
The Masters’ Races had total registrants of 179 on this day.
THE FINAL STAGE OF MEN’S ELITE RACE
From the original 1:30 pm schedule, the Men’s Elite final stage race was moved to 2:30 pm due to torrential rains.
Although the race was still carried out despite the bad weather, President-Commissaire Jamal Mahmood, however, decided along the course to stop the race because of nature intervention. This was one of the Commissaires’ available options aside from restarting the race.
Per assessment of the incessant rainfall, the Commissaires decided to stop and cancel the race as advised by the UCI Technical Committee Commissaire Zac Prendergast.
Ultimately, Filipino rider Marcelo Felipe ruled the first-ever PRUride PH UCI 2.2 Men’s Elite Race Champion this year with a total clocking of 7:57:15. Felipe also bagged two other major awards, such as the Orange Gatorade Jersey or King of the Mountain and the Blue CCN Jersey or Best Filipino Rider, while Go For Gold youngster Daniel Ven Cariño was awarded the Black Rudy Project Jersey or Best Young Rider.
Trailing Marcelo on the second spot is his archrival Brendon Davis of Oliver’s Real Food Racing of Australia with a total clocking of 7:58:02—47 seconds difference behind the champion.
New Zealander rider, Michael Vink, from St. George Continental Cycling Team of Australia, finished off the race with a total clocking of 8:01:27—4 minutes and 12 seconds behind Felipe Marcelo.
In addition, Philippine Navy Standard Insurance was awarded PRUride PH General Team Classification Champion and Best Filipino Team alongside Go For Gold Developmental Team and Team Pangasinan.
The intense yet exciting live feeds and full recapitulation of the cycling races through Facebook will never be possible without the initiative of Snowscape Video Production through LARGA PILIPINAS FB Page at the behest of Mr. Snow Badua.
Please subscribe to DWAENTERTAINMENT YouTube Channel and also like and follow DWAENTERTAINMENT on Facebook Page.