Ride-out participants say Ironman bike route ready
Minor problem in Plaridel Street in Mandaue; rest of route is generally OK
Save for a stretch of bad road in Mandaue City, participants for this year’s Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines believe the bike route is ready for this Sunday’s triathlon event.
Around 200 riders joined yesterday’s ride out along the official bike route of the race and most of them said that the ongoing road works along Plaridel Street in Mandaue City won’t be that much of a problem.
The triathlon event that will feature international participants will be held this weekend starting at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.
The 90-kilometer bike route will pass through the cities of Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay before heading back to Lapu-Lapu.
John Pages, an experienced triathlete and runner, told Cebu Daily News the damaged road in Plaridel Street is just a minor flaw.
“Well, [the damaged area] is not a very long portion but for the elite participants and pros, they have no choice but to slow down,” Pages said.
“Sayang it’s not 100 percent complete,” he added.
He said the bike route this year is still better compared to last year, where riders had to complete eight loops within the South Road Properties (SRP).
The road going to SRP has also improved, particularly along S. Osmeña Road at the Cebu North reclamation Area.
“At least compared to last year, the damaged portion of the bike route is much shorter.
The bike route this year is definitely better for the bikers,” Pages said.
In last year’s bike race, the bad road condition along S. Osmeña forced organizers to do shorter loops within the SRP before heading back to Lapu-Lapu through S. Osmeña Road.
On Sunday, bikers will do just four loops from the Cebu International Convention Center to the front of the Talisay City Hall before going back to the transition area at the Shangri-La.
Veteran triathlete Elona Louise Villacin, who will be among the contenders in the Filipino elite division, said lesser loops will be an advantage as this will give participants faster split times.
“I expect faster times [this year],” Villacin said. “From the bridge going to Parkmall (in Mandaue), it’s damaged. I hope they will fix it. But everything’s fine after that portion.”
Jorge Norberto Tan, a first-timer, said he will have difficulty navigating Plaridel.
“It was a bit bumpy because the road is not ready. We really had a hard time because of the sand and gravel,” he said.
The ride out was spearheaded by Cebu-based Tri Me Triathlon team and TriLife Magazine. They have hosted this pre-race activity for the past four years.
The main purpose of the ride-out is the familiarization of the official bike route of the triathlon race.
Markee Queblatin, the founder of the ride-out, said this year’s activity is by far the biggest they handled.
The group started with 15 participants in 2012, which was the first year that the Cobra Ironman 70.3 was held here in Cebu.
“It (the number of participants) grew bigger,” he said. “The ride-out is very helpful. One will familiarize everything [along] the route.”
Sunrise Events, Inc., the organizing company behind the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines, also did an ocular inspection of the bike route yesterday.
Princess Galura of SEI said the only problem of the route is about 100 meters of unfinished roadwork on Plaridel Street.
“We still need to follow up with DPWH regarding the situation,” she said. “But other than that, the bike route heading to the south is in good condition.”
To ensure the safety of the 2,618 Ironman participants, Galura said they will deploy a lot of marshals along Plaridel Street. /With Correspondent Melissa Q. Cabahug and CTU Intern Marc Eric Cosep Yap said./UP Cebu Intern Juli Ann M. Sibi and Reporter Jose Santino S. Bunachita
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