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(C) Go for Gold


Go For Gold Criterium Race Series 2 flags off in Cebu City’s City Di Mare

After spotting several gifted riders in the previous race, there’s no question that a new breed of cycling talents will emerge at the finish line of the Go For Gold Criterium Race Series 2, set to flag off Sunday at the City Di Mare in Cebu City.

Just a few months after its blockbuster kick-off phase in Clark, Pampanga, the road has been paved this time for promising cyclists from the Visayas in this maximum acceleration, one-day speed contest at the Southern Queen City’s newest criterium hub.

Besides showcasing the finest riders in the region in the men’s and women’s elite and under-23 categories, the closed-circuit 1.1-kilometer route could be the springboard for discovering more homegrown heroes in the sport.

“With Cebu being a hotbed of cycling and cycling talent, we expect na maraming manonood at pupunta sa event natin,” said Go For Gold founder Jeremy Go.

Seventeen-year-old Marvin Mandac from Batangas caught the eye of the Go For Gold Cycling Team during the Go For Gold Criterium Race Series 1 on the iconic Sacobia Bridge in Clark after winning the juniors category.

Marco Lumanog from Pangasinan likewise attracted attention after figuring prominently in the men’s elite class. Other cycling teams also found diamonds in the rough and took care of these budding riders.

“Not all cyclists will be given the opportunity, but this is one way to discover those talents. The best way to find them is to set up top-quality races where cyclists from far-flung areas can access and show off their skills,” said Go For Gold project director Ednalyn Hualda.

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With a projected participation of 500 cyclists from 10 categories, the second phase of the three-leg race series supported by Go For Gold, Scratchit, BOOSTER C, MAGENE, SPN Cycle, IPI, City Di Mare, CCN, Hytera, Gatorade, NeoZigma, CCLEX, Nickel Asia Corporation, Cebu City Government, and PhilCycling aims to bring back the animated local atmosphere in cycling.

“We’re trying to grow the sport of cycling and also trying to professionalize it. That’s why we always work hand in hand with PhilCycling,” said Go, the cycling godfather who has been supporting nearly 200 riders, including the 26-man Go For Gold Cycling Team.

Entries from the junior (17-18 years old) and youth (15-16 years old) categories are raring to pedal at blinding speed on the out-and-back course, along with entries in the men’s 30-39 and 40-up divisions as well as in the manager’s category.

The men’s elite will race for 25 laps on the flat 1.1 km course while the women’s elite is bound to complete 20 laps.

The under-23 category should ride for 30 laps, the youth and junior divisions plus the men’s 30-39 and 40-up will race for 20 laps, and the manager’s group will pedal for 15 laps.

Over P200,000 in prize money will be given out during the event, with the champion in both the premier men’s and women’s elite categories receiving P20,000 each.

“Aside from organizing safe and well-run races in order to elevate the sport of cycling in the Philippines, these races serve as talent identification,” said Go.

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The final leg of this year’s criterium series is being penciled in for either September or October in Mindanao.

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