Sugbo Cycle optimistic to make Medellin Criterium Race a yearly event
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The long-time dream of cyclists racing through the iconic Aisle of Medellin in northern Cebu finally came true after Sugbo Cycle staged the first First Medellin Criterium last Sunday, July 2, 2023.
The race organized by fellow triathletes and cyclists drew over 244 participants who competed in nine categories.
Jmarc Bejoc ruled the open road bike category, while Angel Pagnanawon topped the women’s open road bike category.
The rest of the winning cyclists were John Reynald Inot (MTB newbie), Ramonito Espinosa (40-above), Marjun Villarosa (30-39), Douglas Romanate (19-under), Israel Go (20-29), Allan Pastor (executive), and Randy Carbonera (MTB open).
According to one of the organizers, May Nadine Salimbangon, one of the co-founders of Sugbo Cycle, they were thrilled to allow cyclists to race through the most sought-after routes in Cebu.
The Aisle of Medellin is a strip of road in northern Cebu that connects the City of Bogo and the Municipality of Medellin which became an icon for its scenery.
It’s a one-of-a-kind 7.5-kilometer road in Cebu which happens to be in the middle of vast sugarcane fields.
“Hopefully this will not be the last kay supportive kaayo ang Mayor and the LGU of Medellin. Maayo kaayo sila. So, hopefully ma annual race na ni. This is the first criterium race that happened in this particular area in Medellin and everyone was excited to race,” said Salimbangon.
Joining her on the organizing side are co-founders in May Anne Mares and Louie Villacin.
Besides featuring the famous road, Sugbo Cycle wanted to organize such race to develop interest in cycling in the grassroots level.
“Tabang ni namo to develop grassroots for cyclists. Kaning mga bata naay potential, dili sila ka afford ug bisiklita. This is also exposure for them. You never know somebody will give them scholarships,” Salimbangon said.
“Makita nimo kay kusgan kaayo, naa sila potential pero wala sila capacity. This race is a help to recognize talents,” she added.
One way to test their mettle and discover who among the 244 cyclists were the best was to let them race in the famous road.
“The Aisle of Medillin, one of the things [that] caught us is because of the challenging and scenic route of this place. The way going hard to north is very windy. Ganahan kaayo sila ani nga challenge. Nalingaw ug na challenge gyud atong mga cyclists,” added Salimbangon.
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