MANILA, Philippines -- PhilCycling on Wednesday announced that it has postponed its planned national championships for road, mountain bike, and BMX due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The federation was planning to hold its national championships in May and June.
"The priority is always the health and safety of everyone — cyclists, officials and fans," said PhilCycling president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino. "No questions asked."
There has been a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines in the past week, with the country logging 4,000 to more than 5,000 additional cases daily. On Wednesday, the Department of Health said the country has reached the same peak level as July 2020.
Given the situation, Tolentino said it is better for them to "wait and see until the pandemic is contained."
PhilCycling secretary general Atty.Billy Sumagui has been working on the national championships since January, a week after the federation elected its new set of officers last December 29 for the next Olympic cycle.
The Road and Track Commission headed by Sunshine Joy Vallejos, Oversight Commission led by Jun Lomibao and national coaches for road Ednalyn Calitis Hualda and Reinhard Gorantes have already identified the routes for the road championships at a supposed bubble environment at the Subic Bay Freeport.
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority headed by Atty. Wilma Eisma was already informed of the event that were supposed to be scheduled from May 5 to 8.
MTB and BMX Commission head Oscar "Boying" Rodriguez and coaches Eusebio Quiones, Frederick Farr and Renz Viaje were also laying the groundwork for the disciplines’ national championships in Tagaytay City in June.
PhilCycling has also sent a letter of intent to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, informing them of their plans to hold the national championships.
The event would have been part of the selection process for the riders who will represent the Philippines in the 31st Southeast Asian Games, set for Vietnam on November 21 to December 2.
Competitions for road included individual time trial, team time trial, criterium and massed start for men and women. For MTB, lined up were the cross country, downhill and cross country mixed relay, while the racing event was set for BMX.
Close to 300 — cyclists, commissaires, support personnel and staff — are expected at the national championships.