TAGBILARAN CITY, February 13 (PIA)--Strong as a mule after the finish, a Cebuano veteran of the trails took the advantage of his twenty niner and zipped through the downhill after keeping track of the chase group to rule over other riders in the open category of the 2nd Alicia Mountain Bike Festival February 12.
Donkey Sanchez, (#6) of Oz Racing Team Cebu kept the chase group of the Bohol's team Paseo de Loon in sight and attack distance while maneuvering the arduous painful climb of the Cambaol mountains using a single ring drivetrain on his Scott hardtail.
At the downhill segment of the trails carved from cogon patches hills peaking at Binabaje, Sanchez used his 29'r advantage to the hilt and zipped through the single trail track out to the barangay road and back to the finish line to complete the 14 kilometer loop to the finish.
The Bohol chase group of Jonathan Pagaura (#3) and Emmanuel Comendador (#4) had to settle for the second and third places on their twenty sixers keeping attack positions on the homestretch passing along the national highway in Progreso back to the finish line.
Another Cebuano, wearing #8, Emmanuel Pedroza, also kept the other local chase group ans successfully blocked the challenge put up by a pack led by a rider from Dagohoy, Victor Biongcog (#1).
In the All Bohol category which also tracked the same trail, rider Roger Torreon (#23), Renz Magdura (#28), Ernesto Garcia (#25) , Jonnie Jorigue (#21) and Eric Rejes (#24) took the next came into the finish line in similar spectacular finishes picking up podium finishes for first to fifth spots.
All Bohol category is equivalent to Bohol's elite riders, according to Kinatkatay sa Binabaje event organizer and tourism Officer Godelia Lumugdang.
For the neophyte bikers, rider Keith Salamanca (#17) pedaled across the line in winning fashion with Deven Valderosa (#12) on tail. Randy Boligon, wearing race number 20 finished third and followed Milo Melon (#11) and Isidro Balag (#54) for the fifth place.
For the 45 years old and above, local endurance rider (341) Ven Amora pumped way better for his age to win the category with Concordio Bernales (#40) picking up second and Alberto Escatron (338) finished off third.
In the same category, biker Eustaquio Cuadrasal (31) and Dodong Castillon (#33) came in next for the fourth and fifth finishes.
After the race, Cebu bikers agree, Alicia does not need to create a challenging track with natural obstacles just there.
Now packaged as a mountain bike mecca for Bohol who claims it has it all, the Alicia Panoramic Park, where Cambaol and Binabaje are just small sections, is now eyed by climbing bike enthusiasts as their Everest.
Alicia Mayor Marnilou Ayuban also pronounced the event very successful.
Last year, we only had 26 bikers, he confessed after the first Alicia MTB Fest in January 2016.
This year, despite an ongoing Central Visayas regional athletic meet which drew biker coaches to the event, Kinatkatay sa Binabaje attracted twice the number of bikers.
Behind the success of the race is LGU Alicia, Bohol Tourism Council, Bohol Tourism Office, Alicia local bikers, local sponsors and donors.
Tourism officer Godelia Lumogdang, added that Alicia chose to have the hills as the race venue due to its astounding panorama and the grueling challenge it can pose to the bike enthusiast.
She also said picking the hills can also provide a good motivation for the communities along the trails to take care and respect the environment as a means to mitigate the effects of climate change.
"We hit two birds in one stone: We establish a new tourism product and we allow the community to take care of the environment to mitigate disasters," Lumogdang, who also sits in the Municipal Disaster and Risk Reduction management council commented. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)