TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 1 (PIA)—Three cross country mountain bikers in the 30-39 age category raced to a spectacular finish to get the edge seconds from each other in the notoriously tough to race two-abreast single trails of Mahayahay in Carmen, August 26.
Consummate athleticism played to the smallest cogs on the uphill assault to the finish line was how spectators described the three bikers who were so glued to each other’s rear wheels that midway into the race, the spacing distance among the three mountain bikers never reached beyond five meters.
Bike Joey Magsayo (racing number 41) crossed the finish line at 11:25:04 seconds, barely two seconds before his pursuer Anthony Rabida (#46) who crossed the finish line, rear cogs midway as he kept the pumping pace to finish second at 11:25:06, while making sure the rider in pursuit does not use the cleared trail to sprint into his determined finish.
Two second later, and gears slamming to the maximum spinning race to the finish was Jobier Visto on bid number 49, on very close third.
Three minutes later came in Ricky Durano (#42) at 11:28 and John Phillip Burra, 5th at 11:32.
Magsayo finished the entire course in 1:25:04.
The 30-39 race category finished the entire race course in almost two hours, riders taking the sprinting advantage only along the barangay roads of Poblacion Sur before the painful sprint drains what resolve is left up the almost 2 kilometers technical ascent to the muddy trail to Taytay.
The race, called the First Mahayahay Mountain Bike Cross Country Race, August 26, started off at Mahayahay, Villarcayo, Carmen, threaded through 24 kilometers of mostly single track trails, crossed creeks, off-saddle bamboo bridges, barangay roads and grinds through punishing uphill climbs from Poblacion Sur Carmen to the plateau in Taytay, through oil palm plantations and thickets in secondary forests.
“It would have been a lot easier, had it not rained the day before the race,” golden category race guide Joel Torrefranca shared.
“Rain or shine, the Mahayahay trail, is never really that easy for the hobbyist mountain bikers, its technical sections are cruel at the very least, but rideable so it challenges you,” a biker from Cebu admitted.
In the Elite category, it was a race among top power-bikers of Bohol.
Nicho Lumay, wearing racing bib no 02 crossed the finish line well ahead of anyone in all categories running the 24 kilometers course.
Lumay nailed the fastest time in the race at 1:21:00, according to race tabulations provided by hosts Taga Bukid Cyclists under Rey Embradura, president.
He completed the 24 kilometer tricky course in 1:17 minutes, flying through the heavily rutted trails and stone piled paths, and getting into a minor accident, slamming himself and his bike into a grazing cow.
After Lumay whizzed through the finish line Victor Biongcog (#01) some four minutes later.
Another Boholano acclaimed strong and endurance biker Adelino Buligan (#03) trailed Biongcog some three minutes later to occupy the third place in the winners’ podium.
Eight minutes later, came in Deven Valderoza (04) followed by Jesryl Almasin (#05) 16 minutes past Valderoza.
In the 29 and below age category, Franklin Nolasco, wearing no 32 crossed the line at about 10:55 to top the category.
Biker Archie Enad (#24) came in second at 10:57, or two minutes later. Three minutes after Enad crossed #28 Neil Arado at 11:00 to place third.
Biker #27 Ralph Felisco arrived fourth in the category followed by Joseph Baldon Jr., (21) to complete the top 5 honors.
In the 40-49 age group, rider (#62) Roger Torreon completed the race course in 1:31 minutes crossing the line by 11:09 in the race that started 9:38 AM.
After him was Roberto Saniel (#58) who came in at 11:13, then Remie Magsino at 11:14, barely a minute after Saniel.
Paseo de Loon seed rider (#63) Milo Melon came in at 11:28 to place fourth while Harry Jumamoy (59) completed the 5th post in the podium.
Mahayahay MTB XC also opened up its trails for the full suspension bikers whose forks can manage 140 mm travel. This is necessary to safely surmount the technical endure-rated downhill slopes of the race course, Embradula explained.
Calape rampage trained endure riders led by Vanzie Gubot (#98) led his Calape Team to the podium honors completing the 14 kilometer course in 1:05 minutes.
After Gubot was #94 biker Edu Josol who completed the race and crossed the finish at 10:57 to place second.
Third, meanwhile was young rider Kyle Roluna, who crossed the end line at 11:11 followed by Arcel Asinero for fourth place finish (#89) a minute later. On his heels was Jovan Sumalinog crossing the finish line at 11:12.
The race which also had Golden age category or those aged 5- and above had biker Venancio Amora (#70) to a pedaling victory crossing the line at 10:53.
After Amora was Cebu biker #71 Martin Tambien, who completed the 14 kilometer course by 10:58.
Boholano biker Concordio Bernales (#79) came third finishing by 11:04 followed by Doods Lagumbay (#73) at 11:30 and (#72) Ervie Visarra by 11:33.
The Mahayahay MTB XC race also coincided with the sitio Mahayahay Fiesta and was sponsored by Paul Mesagrande, LGU Carmen and TBC sponsors.
Mountain Biking, a relatively new sports tourism feature in Bohol has recently made young riders conquer race courses across the country, putting up good competitive show in the Danao XTerra race months back.
Already an activity with a huge tourism potential, mountainbiking through the trails that crisscross Bohol also offer spectacular views, scenic spots and off-road challenge of international race caliber.
As to Mahayahay, it was nothing of the hayahay, as the name suggests, bikers who joined the race agree. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)