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Gov Aris MTB Race 2023 shows strong bikers all over Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 31 (PIA) -- The Talibon Mountain Bike Race billed as the First Governor’s Mountain Bike Race presented by Unified Talibon Bikers’ Club on May 27 proved that no town has the monopoly of strong cyclists, as the race results would show.

The race, which opened for four categories, attracted decent participation from all over the province as shown by its results: in the 29 and below category, a racer from Alburquerque beat favorites including Talibon bikers. 

In the 30 to 39 age bracket, it was not a sweep for the Paseo de Loon Team, which had the betting odds on them.

In the 40-49 age group, hands down, Talibon-based bike shop owned by a former Pase de Loon elite team member, bagged the trophy while in the 50 and above category, team AIWA was predicted to sweep the podium, but it was a tad short.

Trained or not, the long climbs in the first half of the race, especially the punishing crawl to Batawan Hills, caused cramps even to the well-conditioned riders.

The race course is a rugged mix of flat and cross country tracks, but the most tiring was pedaling on the climbs and trails feeling the pain and the temptation to stop and have the grilled pork and Boholano cooking, which awaits the athletes at the finish line. 

From starting line at the San Jose exit from the Poblacion, bikers sped off to Sto Niño over paved national highway and then turned left towards the long, arduous grind to Batawan Hills. This is highlighted by an ascending dirt road threading through thick oil palm plantations and occasional rice paddies.

Then, at the Batawan Hills, the wavering climbs take 1 to 100 meters and then plunge to 60 meters and then swing up to 110 before diving again to 50 meters. Another sauntering 90-meter climb appears then winds its way to rolling terrain after nearly 20 kilometers. Then one has to cycle along the banks of the Zamora dam before that mad dash to the finish line along dusty barangay roads.

After finishing approximately 28 kilometers of roads and an elevation gain of 356 in a little over an hour, the first break-away group broke out of the Talibon terminal highway to the finish line.

In the 29 and below category, Alburquerque biker Edito Gaslang (Bib No. 19) pedaled to finish first, followed by Sagbayan biker (#35) Archie Enad followed by Batuan’s Bren Zyrell Busano in third.

Fourth was #20 Mequiades Enopia of Talibon and another homegrown biker #15 Eric Neil Amba.

In the 30-39 age group, Batuan and Dauis-based Paseo de Loon’s top seeded athlete blogger Nicho Lumay (# 006) crossed the line followed by teammate (#007) Alpris Pajo (Tagbilaran-Valencia) with Trinidad’s pride Serapin Dacuylo (#008) on the last podium riser slot.

In the 40-49, Talibon’s bike shop owner, Paseo de Loon biker Glicerio Roger Torreon (# 402), came in followed by Anda biker and AIWA team member Bobby Felisarta.

Coming in third is Carmen’s Tagabukid cyclist Paul Mesagrande (bib #403) and fourth is (#404) of Clarin, Vincent Villacorta.

In the 50 and above, team AIWA’s Bilbert Aguilar (#010) of Alicia, Ven Amora (#009) and Mabini’s Concordio Bernales (#008) took the top spaces with Clarin’s Floro Tunday (#007) coming in fourth followed by Sagbayan’s Bobby Bonggot who completed the slots. (RAHC/PIA-7 Bohol)

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Rey Anthony Chiu

Regional Editor

Region 7

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