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by Jonas Panerio, Correspondent
Rick Gabuya, Sports Editor
Sixteen year-old Cebuano junior cyclist Luis Miguel "Igi" Maximo achieved a long-standing dream of his as he was named to the Philippine cycling team, becoming its youngest member and the only junior cyclist from the Visayas and Mindanao.
PhilCycling, the UCI-recognized National Sports Association of cycling in the country headed by Mayor Abraham Tolentino, conducted two nationwide qualifying rounds for the National Junior Trials.
In the Tour of Clark last Nov. 26-27 in Clark, Pampanga, which served as the preliminary round for Juniors 16-17, Maximo finished in second place in the Individual Time Trial (ITT) 10km and third overall in the General Classification standings.
In the Tagaytay Trials last Dec. 12, in spite of travel fatigue and pressure from school commitments, he delivered a sixth place finish in the Individual Time Trial (ITT) 30km among the 22 aspiring cyclists.
"I did not expect it will come this soon. I was up against older riders during the Trials, all I wished for was a slot in the national training pool," said Maximo.
"Cyclists from Pangasinan and Central Luzon - known hotbeds of cycling in the country - were strong. The top-of-the-line cycling racing equipment provided by Cebu-based YKK Trading really made the big difference in the race," added Maximo.
As part of the Philippine National Junior Team, Maximo is now in the shortlist for inclusion into the country's participation in the 2012 Asian Juniors Cycling Championships this coming Feb. 8 to 18 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.