For some pro cyclists, military duties take priority amid battle vs COVID-19
For some pro cyclists, military duties take priority amid battle vs COVID-19
John Bryan Ulanday (Philstar.com) - May 24, 2020 - 2:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — Pro-cycling action can wait as select Filipino riders put premium on serving the country as military-athletes first until the end of the coronavirus crisis.

While cycling, among other outdoor non-contact sports, has officially been given green light by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases to resume in areas under general community quarantine, local cyclists led by the powerhouse Philippine Navy – Standard Insurance are in no rush to get their wheels rolling.

For the multi-titled Navymen, championing military service as frontliners for the nation still in a difficult situation remains the no. 1 priority before buckling down as cyclists on the road anew.

“The team is doing fine. But for now, we’re still in camp duties for our military service. That’s our priority right now,” Navy coach Reindhard Gorrantes on Sunday told The STAR.

Coming off a historic championship in Ronda Pilipinas last March, the Philippine Navy squad wasted no time putting their bikes aside to don military uniforms for a far more noble national responsibility.

Aside from Gorrantes, also in service until now are three-time Ronda king Jan Paul Morales, former Le Tour de Filipinas champion El Joshua Carino along with fellow veteran riders Junrey Navarra, Ronald Lomotos, Jhon Mark Camingao, Archie Cadania and Lance Allen Benito.

Through an online cycling application called "Zwift" though, the Navymen get a chance once in a while to ride their stationary bikes on the virtual road to stay in condition.

“It depends on our schedule. Most of the time, we’re on duty but in free times, we’re just making the most out of time to take ride on Zwift,” added Gorrantes, a Seaman Second Class.

In that way, expect the celebrated Navymen to be extra inspired and ready once the COVID-19 pandemic reaches the finish line, which will symbolize the start for the return of distinguished “Kings of the Road”.

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