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Cycling chief eyes nationals for 2021 'with or without vaccine'

PhilCycling Elections committee chairman Bones Floro (top, right) administers the oath of office to re-elected president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (sixth from left). Also in photo are (from left) Jojo Villa, Juancho Ramores, Paquito Rivas, Jun Lomibao, Sunshine Joy Mendoza, Oscar Rodriguez, Moe Chulani, Carlos Gredonia and Alejandro Vidallo. Atty. Billy Sumagui (top, left) is reappointed secretary general.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines president Bambol Tolentino is aiming to push through with the national championships for all the cycling divisions next year.

Tolentino, who was reelected to cycling's top post on Tuesday at the East Ocean Palace Restaurant in ParaƱaque, said that he wants to have the cycling season resume "with or without a vaccine for COVID-19."

He even said that he is willing to hold everything inside the bubble if needed.

“I am looking at Clark or Subic for the national championships for road and Tagaytay City for BMX and mountain bike,” he added.

Cycling is among the physical activities allowed amid the pandemic regardless of the quarantine classification an area is in, making it somehow easier for organizers to hold one especially in areas with more lenient restrictions.

But with the vaccine not yet available to the general public at the moment, letting fans watch the races on the road is not feasible for now as well; thus, the bubble option.

Tolentino looks to bank on the successes of the pro sports bubbles that already took place earlier in the year, especially the PBA, which had one in Clark.

“If the PBA did it in Clark, we could do the same in the same venue, in Subic and Tagaytay,” added Tolentino, who took over current PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas as the chief of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Tolentino was also reelected as POC chief last month.

On the other hand, he is looking forward to see top freight carriers Air21 and LBC, the major sponsors of the two top tier cycling race series, Le Tour De Filipinas and Ronda Pilipinas, respectively, merge the two races for next year.

Tolentino also wants the Filipino cyclists to gear up for a busy 2021 that includes the Tokyo Olympics, the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

The POC recently offered to become the host of the AIMAG.

Also retaining their posts at PhilCycling were Alberto Lina as chairman and Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez as vice president, while the new members of the federation board were Alejandro Vidallo (treasurer) and Engr. Greg Monreal (auditor).

Re-elected as members of the board were Jun Lomibao, Juancho Ramores, Paquito Rivas, Moe Chulani, Carlos Gredonia, Atty. Marcus Andaya and Jojo Villa.

The Philippines’ first female national road commissaire, Sunshine Joy Mendoza, was elected as a new member of the board along with Erwin Bollozos.

Atty. Billy Sumagui was also reappointed secretary general.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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