by Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Staff Writer
Manny Villaruel, Sports Editor
CEBU, Philippines - After being left out in the cold during the opening day, the Cebuano riders led by Noy Jopson and Tyre Lambo bounced back with aplomb during the final stage to sweep the two titles available in the RECYCLE-Luzvimin-USA Cebu Cycling Series-Tour Ni Frank at the close of the two-day race last Sunday in Buak, this city.
Taking advantage of their familiarity of the route, Jopson and Lambo bravely pedalled their ways to the coveted ‘yellow jersey’ in class B and C, respectively.
The final day of the lung-busting race was also known as the “killer stage” as participants had to wade through a treacherous route from Toledo to the mountainous barangay of Buak via Transcentral highway.
Jopson actually landed only second in the road race but counting his sixth place finish in the criterium, he emerged as the best finisher overall in class B and became the rightful owner of the specially-designed Tour Ni Frank jellow jersey.
Jonas Ponseca got the top spot in Stage 2, while Leyte Cabugwason came in third.
It was exactly the same story for Lambo before he scaled the summit of success in class C.
Lito Quebec topped the road race, but it was not enough for him to clinch the overall supremacy.
Criterium winners Dondie Azarcon and Bitoy Daa, both of Team PLDT, were happy enough to finish the mountain stage. For them, it’s the experience they gained from joining the event that mattered most as they want to share it with their comrades when they go back to Bohol.
The 14-year-old Igi Maximo, the youngest entry in a strong field laden by veteran pedal-pushers, also conquered the mountain stage impressively. He tenaciously pedalled his way even on the steepest part of the road while others opted to stop or take a walk.
Meanwhile, Frank Gatdula, the chief benefactor of the annual race, extended his profound gratitude to all those who, in any way, have contributed to the success of the event. He made special mention of Ernie and Marrielle Hortaleza of HBC for sharing their transponder, an automatic timing device which was used for the first time in a cycling event in Cebu.– Caecent No-ot Magsumbol