Cordilleran riders proved their mettle in the recently-concluded Bongabon Enduro Attack 4, a four-stage mountain bike enduro race held at the picturesque hills of Ariendo, Bongabon in Nueva Ecija.
Leading the group from the highland was Aky Nolasco of Behind Bars bike shop who placed fourth in the men’s elite category of the event that gathered over 300 riders from all over the country.
Junior riders Khastner Fanged and Michael Langaoan of Bontoc, Mountain Province also competed in the stacked open/elite category, placing sixth and10th respectively, while another former pro downhiller, Marky Trinidad, placed ninth in the same category.
Local riders Mark Tangan, Nuy Caingcoy, Vince Dangiapo, Jason Herbolario, and Sean Banagao placed 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th also in the open/elite category mixing it up with past age category champions.
In the 19 and under category, Vrenj Carantes, who was the youngest at 12 years old, placed ninth in a field of 40 riders while Angelo Carantes and Marc Gatchalian placed 11th and 16th respectively, not bad for their first national level race outside Baguio City.
Other riders who posted decent finishes in the different categories are Mead Nathaniel Dulay, John Chiday, and RB Ocampo.
Also, Aeron Aritao, a relatively new rider in the sport, had a decent finish from the field of 58 riders in the 20 to 29 category.
In the 30 to 39 category with 85 riders, Jaybee Pascua placed 10th while new rider Ed William Kidayan placed 68th despite having one of the gnarliest crashes during the race.
The participants went through four stages with stage one featuring climbs with fall line descents to test riders’ cardio and endurance, while the second stage was the short but technical “amazon,” which snakes through the rainforest single narrow tracks and off-camber switchbacks and a series of drops.
The third stage was the “ridge to forest” with high-speed ridgeline descents leading to a small gully where turns abound accentuated with a drop to jump combo at the end.
The final stage dubbed, “Edriespecial” with its steep elevation was a challenging one even to seasoned riders. – Vince Dangiapo