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Saturday, June 14, 2014
DANAO CITY — A decent finish that would get the attention of the Indonesian national team was something Kuzmawati Yazid wanted when she navigated the punishing mountain trails of Manlayag Patag for the Asean MTB Cup.
Bannering team Polygon, Yazid had a dashing ride amid the scorching heat and snatched the coveted women’s elite title of the cross country competition.
The 32-year-old Indonesian was in for a tight race as other formidable riders were breathing down her neck at the get go. However, she left nothing but dust on the remaining laps and clocked 1 hour 28 minutes and 49 seconds to stamp her dominance over another Indonesian Wilhelmina Tutuarima who came second in 1:31.57.
Yazid was a gold medalist in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Myanmar but left the team. She however, delivered the same biking prowess in this UCI-sanctioned race.
“Basically, the route is the same as international tracks. Here, the track required endurance. It was very hot during the race,” said Yazid.
According to Indonesia’s national team head Coach Oki Raspati, they are still shopping around for members of the national team and the daunting task in Danao will serve as part of their talent identification and preparation for the next Asian Games.
“We prepare three months for that race,” said Raspati.
Philippine National team Avegail Rombaon placed third in our own turf after clocking 1:45:17, while Queenelesi Ligadu of Malaysia crossed the finish line in 1:52.27 to take fourth place. Other riders from Singapore, Malaysia and local mountain bikers completed only one or two rounds of the taxing four-lap, 4.2-kilometer route of the women’s elite cross-country.
Philippine bet Mellissa Jane Jaroda of Iloilo started off strong but her bid ended when she suffered a flat tire in the second lap.
“Na flat kasi yung gulong ko sa pang unahan sa ikalawang lap pa lang (that’s why I fell behind). Yung iba naman hindi kinaya ang course, pati Si Anne Villanueva (Philippine National team rider) pangalawang lap lang. Sayang yung good start ko,” Jaroda said.
On the other hand, Cebuano June Rene Mier, who won the 2014 Philippine National Games (PNG) U23 silver medal, clocked 1:28:37 and bagged the men’s open title; Ireezbone Barrientos came second in 1:30:36; and John Earl Sagarino (1:31:55) of Cycle Line Extreme came third. Ground Zero’s Charlie Tigalina (1:31:55) and Ronnie Urdaneta (1:33:14) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the men’s junior, Jake Aldrin Rivera (1:06:24) of Isuzu Dmax was declared champion. Gilbert Enarciso (1:10:32) came second, Malaysia’s Alvin Leong Vui Chung (1:11:00) placed third, while Warren Sagarino (1:12:27) and Robin Ray Derro (1:15:46) rounded the top five.
The other winners are 2014 PNG gold medalist Ariana Dormitorio (1:06:29) of Team Alana Specialized in the women’s junior crown, and Feliz Matilda Nepomuceno (1:47:41) who comfortably took the women’s open title over a Singaporean counterpart, who finished only one lap.
According to UCI International Commissaire and technical consultant Max Mager “so far it was a great race for the starting day.”
The two-day mountain bike event will wrap up with the elite cross-country race and the downhill final with Nino Surban March Aleonar, Alvin Benosa, and Eusibio Quiñones and cousins Joey and Eleazar Barba bannering the country’s colors.
Former Philcycling President and current Danao City Mayor Ramonito Durano said he was happy that mountain bike competition was back in Danao.
“The City of Danao has fully supported Asean MTB Cup, this international UCI sanctioned race has also helped in promoting the City’s tourism,” said Durano.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 15, 2014.