May 28, 2024
DECENT FINISHES — Seasoned and new riders from the Cordillera earned decent finishes in their respective age categories with some of them qualifying for the UCI Gravel World Championships during the UCI Gravel World Series race in Bongabon, Nueva Vizcaya recently. Here, riders Carlo Gonzalez, Jovencio Luspian, Patrick Ng, Stephen Ng, and Eleazar Pimentel posed for a snapshot during break time. — Contributed photo

Bike riders from the Cordillera made strong finishes in the UCI Gravel World Series race in Bongabon, Nueva Vizcaya on April 3, making them qualifiers for the UCI Gravel World Championships.
National duathlon team member Jarwyn Omaging Banatao of Baguio City, who represented John’s Bike Restoration Team, nailed the highest ranking among Cordillera riders in the race with a third place finish in the stacked 19 to 34 age category.
Fitter Team riders Arnold Lozano of Baguio City and Joseph Guimbawan of Tadian, Mountain Province; and Jovencio Luspian of Tuesday Cycling Club placed sixth, 11th, and 14th, respectively in their age categories.
First-time racers Luspian and Guimbawan displayed grit and determination for a strong finish, which they did against formidable riders.
Tuesday Cycling Club rider Stephen Ng was in the top 10 of his age group while cycling neophytes Earl Patrick Ng, Carlo Gonzalez, and Eleazar Pimentel of the same team finished the 85-kilometer race with decent standings.
The Switzerland-based Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events.
The gravel race at Bongabon is a first in the world and it puts the Philippines as the pioneer venue for this historical bike race.
The course included a 16 percent gradient climb which most riders found difficult, followed by a technical downhill section. The course also had a long stretch of gravel roads cutting through numerous rice fields and multiple rivers as well as a few roadway portions.
Around 369 participants graced the event with varying disciplines in cycling.
There were triathletes, mountain bike cross-country riders including casual bikers who wanted to experience racing. – Vince Dangiapo