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Belgira, Barba rule MTB downhill national trials


Lea Denise Belgira and Eleazar Barba Jr. lived up to expectations on Sunday by ruling the Women and Men Elite categories of the PhilCycling Mountain Bike National Trials for Downhill in Barangay Sandayong Sur in Danao City, Cebu.

Belgira remained queen of Philippine MTB downhill by bagging the Women Elite gold medal after she negotiated the 850-meter International Cycling Union-grade course in 01:27.460.

The 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist riding out of Guimaras was a good 2.023-second winner over Naomi Gardoce, who settled for silver. Jade Nicole Baleta bagged bronze after finishing 29.289 seconds back.

Barba, meanwhile, clocked 1:13.593 to rule the Men Elite class of the trials organized by the PhilCycling under its chairman Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez and through the auspices of the Danao City Sports Commission.

Barba clinched silver also in the 2019 SEA Games at the Tatlong Bungo course in Laurel, Batangas, but the gold medalist, Jerich Farr, was slightly off his elements and settled for the silver medal with a time of 01:12.851.

Gabriel Amigo snatched bronze with a time of 01:14.878.

“Our national athletes proved they are in top shape despite the difficulties in training because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Rodriguez said. “And we are all happy that MTB is alive despite all the safety protocols.”

The PhilCycling, headed by Rep. Bambol Tolentino, also the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, also conducted national trials in MTB cross country-Olympic also in Danao City in June and Road in Clark in July. All three trials were staged under the authority of the regional health and safety task force against the pandemic.

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The 1-2-3 finishers in the other categories were Gwen Hanah Barba, Samantha Rem Yuson, and Alexa Ysabel Barba in Women 16-below; Khim Catalbas, Renselle Abada, and Ray Gabriel Arat in Men 16-below; Mark Hector Medenilla, Adrian Nino Villanueva, and Wendell Barna in Men Master A; and Frederick Farr, Jonathan Verga and Leopoldo Ocampo in Men Master B.

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