First of all i would like to thank all those new found friends who approached me in Tanauan and Tagaytay to say how much they enjoy reading the Team Waterwood Report sent on the group email....the report inspires me to finish every race....its also the reason why im not flagging down my own support vehicle when i am on the point of quitting. For how on earth am i going to report the suffering when im sitting comfortably in the back of my airconditioned van?
Here is our report:
April 22,2005 Friday
Two weeks prior to this day, only 6 Team Waterwood members confirmed that they wanted to ride the Tanauan to Tagaytay race.
Jess Sabio is currently in New York for a business trip, Adrian Cruz couldnt confirm his participation and Team manager Rolly Cruz was having a tight schedule at the office. A teary eyed Michael Miranda met me on April 17 confirming death of his brother in law who was hit and run while on a small scooter in Sta Rita town bulacan by a passenger jeep.
This means he will not be able to ride.Adrian Cruz met me on 20th April saying he will definitely ride even if he hadnt much training due to pressures at work.
22 April: Michael Miranda with older sister in tow went to see me saying michael wanted to race and that the family had given permission to move the burial of his brother in law from a saturday to sunday, and that michael himself had prayed and asked his dead brother in law (who used to be his team vehicle driver) for permission to ride the race. So come April 22 there were 7 out of 9 team waterwood members who confirmed participation.
We left bulacan town 2pm and arrived in tanauan batangas by 5pm. We had fantastic dinner at a known bulalo house in tanauan and after the great bulalo dish we booked into Junction 1 drive in hotel (motel?) the manager said they can only have two persons in a room so we obliged. the dead giveaway that the hotel was a motel was the shape of the bed...the shape is that of a boat! a loveboat?
By 7pm we had a meeting at my room 7a.Jojo Cardenas who is team manager 002 presided and gave just one instruction. Anyone who feels good must stay with the peloton for as long as they can and try to launch an attack.The lead vehicle will be covering team waterwood top 4 riders and the other vehicles will take care of the 3 struggling members.
After the meeting michael miranda and i became roommates and we did some last minute tinkering with the bikes. I swear michael was talking to his Giant TCR bike asking the bike not to fail him or give him any trouble! Michael made me wonder if i could also sweet talk my favorite Colnago Master x lite to go any faster as if it had a soul of its own.... michael said he wants a podium finish so bad and i told him to throw away the TNT (tago ng tago mentality) and go for broke. he became psyched up.He said i should watch out for him as he will be going for the kill. we watched cartoons and went to sleep.
April 23,2005 Race Day Tanauan to Tagaytay 85kilometers
After having breakfast we went to the starting line and met two of our teammates...star player Dondie (the daredevil) Azarcon and tv personality (in fitness and in health) and gym instructor
Ren (cippolini) badeles. I saw QCCC big boss Mingoy and complimented him on the beautiful Smart Buddy/Tropical Ice team jersey!
Then we are off on the starting line. there was to be a 5kilometer rolling start so i was calling on my team to try to stay in front. When the green flag was flagged down, nobody in the peloton wanted to take the lead so waterwood put in a halfhearted breakaway. it would have been a darn serious breakaway had michael miranda joined me...michael got teased by the peloton for going so early and the shy guy applied the brakes.
After getting caught, i joined teammates Michael, Ian, Ren at the peloton who was by the 20 kilometer mark reaching speeds up to 56 kph on the flats. I wanted to hang on up to 50km mark but could not sustain the breakneck speed so got dropped by 30km mark. I was soon joined by Team Neville top honcho Dr. Butch Ydia on a beautiful Red and black fade Giant Composite. I suggested we ride together and the good doctor made very strong pulls over 45kph and 63kph on the zigzags.We rode together until the 50km mark.
By the 50km mark on the uphill climbs.... one rider ...Joven 006 sped past us like a run away train. I asked the good doctor if he wanted to chase. He said im free to go and that i should leave him since he is already spent and that anyway he got his team vehicle with him. I steadied my pace and rode THE HARDEST RACE OF MY LIFE. 34 kilometers of climbs all the way up Leisure Farm, Fantasy World, Canyon Woods to Taal Vista lodge and wondered...when will this ever end......i was cramping really bad and wondered if i would ever finish.
I have used up all my gears, and doing every conceivable hill climbing techniques from scooting my butt back, zigzagging up the climbs, deep breathing techniques, counting numbers and alligning the pedal strokes with each count. I used up two powergels. When I saw my team vehicle at canyon woods i shouted for bananas and water. my driver Robert Batoon peeled a banana and just shoved the entire thing in my wide open mouth as if i was a baby chimp! No time to stop so i carried on and on and on....i wondered how on earth they made the road with no downhills on the other side of the mountain!
2kilometers to the finish a motorcycle escort came and escorted me to the finish. I saw michael miranda timing my arrival. Michael said he made a latch ditch attempt and attcked 10km to the finish but he got cramped legs. so he finish maybe top 30.Ren arrived 25minutes after Michael. Ian arrived 5 minutes after Ren and I arrived 2minutes behind Ian. Dondie didnt make it and cramped so bad he was forced to ride team vehicle. Jojo was the last man to finish before the Finish line was torn down. One hour after jojo finished... we still couldnt find Nestor (big George) Gonzales and organized a rescue squad to go back. we later found him near canyon woods barangay hall nursing severe cramps.
We later found out that ever gentlemanly team of jojo cardenas and big george Nestor was with the group of madam mona bashier and in the company of such a fine lady the two took turns to pull...pulling until mona steadied her pace and the two team waterood gentlemen got dropped due to severe leg cramps.
Team Waterwood, i love you guys for having a big heart. 5 out of 7 finished. cramp or no cramp.
We look forward to racing with you again! Thanks to everyone and warm congratulations to big boss Eric Carandang. To Bobby and Master Cup Race Organizers. Maraming Salamat Po!
team waterwood 003