Bikers from Baguio City had an impressive showing in the UCI-Phil Cycling National Mountain Bike Downhill Championships held in Danao City in Cebu on Sept. 9 to 11.
Seasoned Filipino biker Eleazar Barba, 36 years old and from Dumaguete, successfully defended his title in the elite category with a time of one minute and 11.343 seconds (1:11.343), outclassing top contenders during the event that also produced new national champions.
John Derick Farr, 24, placed second overall with a time of 1:11.929.
There was jubilation in this highland region when the 17-year-old Khastner Fanged of Bontoc, Mountain Province and Baguio City emerged the vhampion in the national junior men category. Fanged belongs to the SayoteBoiz/GreenBikers Club.
His winning time of 1:14.972 was fast enough to place him third overall in the elite category.
Observers claimed it is just a matter of time Fanged would continue his winning ways in the more competitive elite category.
Thomas Baday from Baguio City and representing SayoteBoiz placed fifth in the open men category, as he also proved that going against seasoned riders did not seem to intimidate this up and coming rider.
In the younger but also competitive category, Ibaloy cousins Vrenj and Angelo Carantes of Mount/NBT/SayoteBoiz managed decent finishes at eighth and 12th in the youth men category.
Vrenj has missed out the podium finish by only six seconds, but this would motivate him more to come back stronger next year having experienced this national level of racing for the first time.
“Overall, this lean but mean team of national championship first timers from our city has given us a renewed sense of pride despite the hardships they went through before and during the race,” said one of the supporters of the highland bikers.
The athletes thanked those who have contributed to their success.
The athletes’ supporters also hope the city government would take notice and help young athletes in developing and promoting mountain bike downhill racing. – Vince Dangiapo