Amon Espinosa and Ome Rodriguez put up impressive performances to rule their respective classes in the Halad kang Mano Amon Cycling Classic yesterday in Danao City.
The veteran Espinosa finished the 60-kilometer roadbike grind from Danao City to Tuburan and vice versa in two hours, five minutes and 11 seconds to rule the 40-below division of the race that is part of the activities being held in honor of Danao’s grand old man, the late Ramon “Mano Amon” Durano Sr.
Rodriguez, the great-grandson of Mano Amon and son of Danao City Sports Commission chairman Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez, needed a late push in the last uphill climb at the Danao City’s golf club to escape with the 40-above title with a time of 2:11.25.
Espinosa said he prepared a race plan and stuck to it throughout for the easy win.
“Ni breakaway ko first sa dayon angat namo sa Logo kadtong uphill unya nag pacing ra ko until naka catch up ang uban unya akong second breakaway kauban si Nilo (Barbalose) diha na sa Carmen downhill pabalik na sa finish line,” Espinosa told Cebu Daily News after the race.
Barbalose, another veteran road and mountainbike rider, came in second behind Espinosa with a time of 2:05.35, while Dadong Carcueva bagged third place honors with a time of 2:06.20.
Rounding up the top five riders of the 40-below category are June Dorimon (2:06.36) and Gino Basirgo (2:06.57).
In the 40-Above category, Rodriguez caught up with the lead pack in the uphill climb in Logo and engaged Philip Sainz in a neck-to-neck grind on the way to the finish line before escaping with a hairline victory.
Sainz and Rodriguez logged in an identical time after the race. It was Rodriguez, though, who walked away with the title after a millisecond difference in their photo finish duel.
Coming in at third in the 40-above category was Toto Lim with a time of 2:14.56, while Diding Jaluag (2:16.50) and Raymund Lim (2:16.18) rounded up the top five riders.
An accident, though, marred the generally incident-free race after promising racer Justin Chiongbian fractured his wrist in the downhill road somewhere in Logo because of a flat tire.
Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez said Chiongbian, who raced in the 40-below category, was set to undergo wrist surgery yesterday in a yet to be named hospital.
“Na flat daw pag downhill mao na trapo siya unya natukod ang kamot,” Rodriguez said.
Completing the top 10 riders in the 40-below are Oneil Natividad at 6th, Axel Gonzales at 7th, Joseph Miller at 8th, Jonas Ponseca at 9th and Joel Ocabilo at 10th.
Making it into the top 10 in the 40-Above were Haylin Bardaje at 6th, Bogart dela Rosa at 7th, Camilo Iyas at 8th, Axnol Espanol at 9th and Alan Dungog at 10th.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Ica Maximo was successful in finishing the race even though she was the lone girl participant.
Maximo, a student of Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus, finished the race not far behind her rivals in the 40-above category.
“Na belong ko sa 40-above category kay ako ra man ang girl nga ni participate unya kusug man kaayo ang 40-below,” said the former triathlete Maximo, who aims to represent the country one day in future international bike races.
More than 50 riders participated in the event, which was held in the wake of the successful Halad Kang Mano Amon marathon last week.