EXTREME PAIN ..... EXTREME FUN..... CEBU CYCLING CLASSICS II 2006 ...... MY STORY
« on: November 26, 2006, 03:53:12 PM »
By Attorney Jong Sepulveda of Cebu Cycling
Arrived at the designated starting place a quarter before eight. A lot of riders were already there .... and most importantly ..... the big daddy of cebu cycling (Dok JV, who else?) was already there and barking instructions to the riders to sign up so the race can start.Changed to my riding gear ...... with the forecast of sunny skies for northern cebu ..... I opted for a plain white jersey and a white arm sleeves (according to my grandpa ... white should be worn if you are staying outside under the sun as it the coolest color ... i.e., it reflects light unlike black which is opposite (absorbs all light) --- no wonder the 'hacienderos' of Bogo-Medellin are preferential to all white attire.The Luzon executive riders arrived a little later (apparently, they had a hard time finding the finding the designated starting place). The registration went well --- I do believe the CC cyclists are slowly starting to behave these days ..... you cannot hear anymore wise comments and/or silly complaints .... it appears that everybody have realized that CC under Big Daddy JV means business ... and that is not business as usual. There are still who would try bend the rules (i.e., to race in a slower category), but this time ... they accept CC's decision to deny their wishes without any grumbling and/or innuendos unlike in the recent past.A few minutes before the start ........... the ever so fit and unassuming mayor of Danao (Ramonito Durano ..... my goodness .... what supplement(s) is he taking? he looks fitter and younger than most of Cat B cyclists!) arrived and we were pleased to know that he will be joining the Cat C race. Race instructions were made ...... marshalls (in their UK made green flourescent vests .... again thanks NOB!) .... boarded their motorbikes and Cat B was off.A few minutes later ...... we (Cat C) rode. Neutral Zone. Big Daddy's instructions was that we shall have a rolling start somewhere in Carmen. After the Carmen poblacion ..... Big Daddy dropped the flag. As if on cue, Dr. Butch Ydia of Team Waterwood attacked. As he was introduced to us as the strongest of the visiting Luzon riders ..... Team Kalit (Rex Gonzales, Jonas Colanag, etc..), Team Talisay Doks (Doctors Jonathan Simbajon and John Gayatin) and Team Lapu-lapu (Heide Esmalin, Loloy Berdin, Delfin Omisol..... ) immediately gave chase and caught the good Doctor from Pangasinan(?) before he can make his escape. The speed apexed at 46 kph!!! .... when the peloton bridged the gap! As if testing the resolve of the locals ..... even before we can catch our breath to coast ...... another visitor ... this time Raymond See attacked!! Again, Kalit, Talisay Doks and Lapu-lapu, made sure no damage was caused. Raymond was checked! From my position up front I slowly drifted to the back. The speed of the peloton was agonizingly fast .... 40 kph seemed to be the coasting speed and there were several burst of 44-46 kph were experienced! As i was already at the back .... i am not sure who is doing the attacking and who is doing the catching up! All I can do was muster all my strength to hang on! At one instance ...... in one of the short inclines in Catmon ..... after one explosive sprint ..... i was unable to hold the wheel in front of me and just like that a gap of around 15 meters appeared. I eased up a little and asked the next rider to bridge the gap .... but he too was cooked! 15 turned to 20, then 25 ..... but just when I was about to give up ..... i noticed that the group in front of us also slowed down and recovering. Digging into my suitcase of courage (correct, this time ), I sprinted to bridge the gap and zoomed to the front of the group.I stayed there (or struggled to stay ... that would be the apt description).... among the top guys .... the Doctors (locals and visitor), Rex, Jonas, the Lapu-lapu denizens ..... were there. After poblacion Carmen .... I noticed that the visitors (reduced to only two -- Raymond and Dr. Butch) have lost their aggressiveness ..... it was the turn of Team Kalit (by Rex, of course) to try to establish a break. Initial attempts were checked courtesy of the Talisay Doks and Lapu-lapu. At those small climbs entering poblacion Sogod, attacks after attacks again were made stringing the peloton. When it cleared .... Rex, Dr. Jonathan and Cocoy managed to establish a gap. At the head of the chasing peloton was Team Lapu-lapu and Dr. John. I thought I was in the middle of the peloton but when I looked back there were no more riders behind me! At the start of the climb to Lugo .... I decided to ride my pace and not to hang on to the wheel of anybody as I was certain that everybody in the group was far stronger than me (at the very least .... they were far lighter )). Thus my solo climb ... so I thought.Midway through the climb .... I noticed that Raymond See and Dr. Butch Ydia were not gapping me as much as I was expecting. This give me a little boost .... and just before the Lugo junction .... I caught up with Raymond and Dr. Butch. There were two (2) other riders .... one of which was too young to be Cat C (he may have escaped the sharp eyes of Dodong X). The five of us started the long and winding descent to Bogo (before Sagay, Sogod) we passed by Jonas Colanag at the side of the road being attended to (broken wheelset?). I was amazed by the speed Dr. Butch and Raymond ..... they were clocking 50+ kph on unfamiliar roads! At Kagoyong, Borbon Jonas caught up with us and our group became 6. A little later, we caught up with another .... and we are 7. I was glad .... as a bigger group would be better in our long ride back.At Ilihan, Tabogon, we met the Cat B riders on their way back. A little later, I spotted the one-armed legend (Rex G.) on his way back .... he was already with some Cat B riders. Just before the turn-around point in Bogo, Cebu, we met the rest of the Cat C riders who were in front of us. At the turn-around, they were handing out ice-water and it was a treasure! Just as we were getting our pace in the long climb back .... the rest of Cat C (Mayor Nito's group) were zooming down towards the turn-around area. The two other Team Waterwood riders were with them. Behind these groups were several solo stragglers (Golden Boys who raced in Cat C).In the climb back, Dr. Butch and the other guy (the one we picked up after Jonas) established a pace that the rest of us could not hold. We let them go. No choice! I just followed Jonas wheel and I offered to ride with him all the way to Danao! Jonas accepted! He must not be feeling good .... knowing that he could easily drop me any day!Raymond was also with us. At the false flats between Ilihan and Kagoyong, we even shared some thoughts on the race. He said that the race course was great and it was a shame that not a lot of Manila (or Luzon) based executive riders are not given a chance to experience it. He asked that we should make this a big event and expect his continued support! Raymond really is a swell guy!!!! I promised that CC would work for it. I also invited him and his group (and bring more) for the TdF this January 2007. The road race will be on the same course.At this point, clearly we were not suffering as we still managed to banter. Pain again started after Kagoyong as the climb back to Lugo steepened. I hold on to Jonas wheel with all my strength. It was only a few meters before the Lugo church that I slackened and Jonas opened up a small gap (around 20 meters). On the descent towards poblacion Sogod I easily bridged the gap. When we reached the flats .... I asked Gorio Colanag (who was on a motorbike) where was Raymond and the other guys with us ..... would it be advisable for us to slow down to wait for them? Gorio advised for us to proceed with our pace as the other guys are quite far back.Thus, it was only me and Jonas. We exchanged pulls. Averaging only at 30kph! Gorio was an angel ... with his water and the bananas (at around Catmon, I asked Gorio to buy some food as I was really hungry)! Right before Catmon, we caught a lone rider in a mountainbike and he decided to ride with us. We made him to the lion's share of pulling up front . At Brgy. Fuente, Carmen, the mtb'er was cooked ..... and i thanked him for his effort. Right before poblacion Carmen ..... a marshall in motorbike informed us that we were about to be caught by a group of riders ..... we waited and zoomed past us was Mayor Nito and his posse' ... led by a smiling Niño S. Immediately, i caught Mayor Nito's back wheel and hung on to it! They were doing 36kph. No wonder, we got caught.The mayor's train was zooming and we passed a lot of riders ..... Doctor Jonathan ... some Kalit guys... along the way! In the long straight road in front of the Danao factories .... the train increased its speed to 40 kph. It was extremely painful just to hold on ..... but I tried ..... knowing the finish is near. At the bridge right before the finish ..... I sat up and Jonas zoomed past me and several others. I was not the only passenger after all .The finish ..... what a relief! The food ..... two (2) pieces of fried chicken and four (4) pcs of puso. Whammmm..... gone.That's it!PS. The locals were shocked! A 100+ km race and somebody attacked just right after the start!