MANILA, Philippines -- After cancelling its main cycling festival earlier this year due to the global health crisis, PRU Life UK has decided to hold a virtual ride in November.
Cycling enthusiasts can join the PRURide Virtual Challenge through its health management app called Pulse and register to become part of the PRURider community.
"From the physical, ginawa na namin sa virtual. I definitely realized that you can also do so much when you go virtual in trying to mimic the physical," said Allan Tumbaga, PRU Life UK vice president and chief customer marketing officer.
According to Tumbaga, PRURide will try to adopt the model set by My Prudential RideLondon.
The RideLondon event was the virtual edition of the world's biggest cycling festival held last August 15-23, after the original one-day bike event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It attracted around 11,000 participants, including professional and recreational cyclists from around 70 countries worldwide.
"'Yun ang inspiration namin para dito. It (RideLondon) had to be cancelled, but what they did was they went virtual as well. So 'yun ang naging substitute, 'yung physical ride ginawa nilang virtual," said Tumbaga.
PRU Life UK employees Ryan Benguelo, Nelsi Rabe, Ryan Lamayo, and Marvin Pacis were among the finishers in this year's RideLondon virtual race.
But PRU Life UK is still hopeful that it will be able to hold the regular PRURide PH event physically by next year.
Until it was cancelled last March, the event offers a UCI 2.2 Stage Races, a three-day challenge accredited by the world governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), where participants could earn points and clinch berths in bigger international competitions such as the Olympics.
"We're still considering if itutuloy pa natin with UCI. As much as we would like them to have aboard, the No. 1 from our end is the safety and health of our cyclists and, of course, the Filipinos around us," said Kahlil Robles, PRU Life UK assistant vice president, brand and advertising-marketing.
"The pandemic is still global. Right now for us in the Philippines, to flatten the curve is still a challenge, what more in other countries," he added.
"I think we'll be taking it more on a slower basis, to see kung kaya ba natin talagang kunin ang UCI by that time, or if we will even be prepared to do so considering the health and safety of our participants."