The Philippine Executive Road Racing Championship crown is up for grabs this coming February 5, 2006 at the Subic Bay Freeport, Olongapo City. The current champion, Joel Gironella, will have to deal with a very hilly race route and a rejuvenated field of challengers. Gironella, a residential building contractor by profession, will have to cover the 100 kilometer leg-crushing climber's race course in the former U.S. Naval base turned Special Economic Trading Zone against the very best of Philippine executive road racers. Leading the charge against Gironella are Eric Carandang (marketing director at Philip Morris Philippines), Ernie Hortaleza (entrepreneur in the personal beauty industry), Toots Chua (importer of Giant & Trek bicycles), Ronnie Cuevas (realty developer), and Ronald Cordero (realty developer).
Noted as more of a field sprinter, Joel Gironella will definitely be at a disadvantage with the selected hilly terrain which includes the dreaded "Naval Mag Rollers" and "El Kabayo Wall" sections of the former naval base. His closest rival, Eric Carandang, has the advantage of being an all-around rider given his ability to climb and sprint well regardless of any race route. Apparently, Carandang's working in Philip Morris has not affected his lungs too much! A dark horse to the winner's crown is Ernie Hortaleza. A revelation to the executive racing scene in 2005 whose only previous experience in cycling is recreational mountain biking with his wife, Hortaleza has similar assets to Carandang but with stronger climbing skills. A training accident early December 2005 may have decreased his confidence in descents though.
All revenues from the event shall be donated to the KYTHE Child Life Program, a cancer fighting foundation aimed at assisting pediatric patients in various Philippine Government hospitals. The race is organized by Tim GoBio of World Cycling Adventures Organizers Philippines.