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Bike event kicks off Ironman week

The Ford Bike Out fires off today at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa parking lot in Cebu with a maximum field of 500 participating in the event ushering in the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships presented by Ford.

Assembly time is at 5 a.m. with the briefing set at 5:30 a.m. and the roll out time at 6 a.m. from Shangri-La’s parking area to the first regroup area at Sungold/Parkmall, to SRP Tunnel before making a U-turn at Talisay City Hall junction then to the SM Seaside before making another U-turn and back to the Talisay City Hall.

Robinson’s Galleria will be the second regrouping before the field heads back to the Shangri-La parking area.

The event was first held in 2013 in a practice ride organized by Markee Queblatin of Turismo Cebu as part of his and his teammates’ buildup for the Cobra Ironman 70.3. It became an annual tradition for the Cebuano cyclists who want to have an all-access pass for the Ironman’s bike route.

In 2014, around 50 cyclists joined the event, including Filipino Xterra pro and Cebuano Joseph Miller gracing the event. The event drew more than 211 riders last year with the field more than doubling up in this year’s staging of the 60km fun ride backed by Sunrise Events Inc.

This year’s participants will also get free bike jerseys courtesy of Ford if they will test drive the Ford Ecosport or Ford Ranger vehicles during the ride pack claiming in Ford Cebu.

The event serves as a fitting kickoff to the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships presented by Ford unwrapping on Aug. 7 with a crack international field, including local aces, competing.

Also spicing up the Cobra Ironman As-Pac, held for the first time here, is the Alaska IronKids on Aug. 6 with the future triathletes leading the cast.

More than 2,900 triathletes from 43 countries are set to compete in the Cobra Ironman, produced and organized by SEI and backed Cobra Energy Drink as title sponsor with Ford as presenting sponsor and Globe Telecom as official wireless and broadband services partner, making it the biggest ever not only in terms of participation but also in prize money with a record total of $75,000 at stake in the keenly awaited elite pro category.