Jermyn Prado leads the women's team and Jan Paul Morales heads the men's squad as the Philippines targets its first gold medal in cycling in the criterium event of the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Thursday morning in Hoa Binh, Vietnam.
Joining Prado — individual time trial gold and road silver medalist in 2019 in Tagaytay City — are 2019 SEA Games cross-country mountain bike bronze medalist Avegail Rombaon and 2021 national trials road winner Kate Yasmine Velasco.
With Morales in the race set over a 1.48-km circuit in the heart of this rustic city some 90 kilometers southeast of the capital Hanoi are fellow sprinters Dominic Perez and Aidan James Mendoza.
"It will be a solid sprinting and endurance race all the way," said cycling head coach Ednalyn Hualda, who thanked the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission for fully supporting the team's SEA Games campaign.
"Because this is a race to the finish, there will be no relaxing for the cyclists," added Hualda.
The starters for the other countries remained pending until Wednesday afternoon's team managers meeting although a maximum of 33 riders are expected to see action in the three-to-ride per team event.
The women's race is set for 10 a.m. (Manila time) consists of 20 laps for a total of 29.60 kms and the men's race up at 11:30 a.m. 30 laps for 44.40 kms.
Format is race to finish — meaning the top three riders are awarded the gold, silver and bronze medals.
Cycling delivered three bronze medals in mountain bike courtesy of John Derrick Farr and Naomi Gardoce in downhill and Jericho Rivera in downhill.
The Philippines clinched three golds — Prado, Farr, and Lea Denis Belgira in downhill — four silvers and four bronzes in the 2019 Games.