Pot-Pot Huelva bested 39 other cyclists to rule the Circulo Verde Chasedown Men's Fixed Gear Knockout Race at the said complex on Sunday, March 19, 2017..
Huelva edged fellow Go for Gold cyclist Jerry Aquino in the final lap to win the 41-lap, last man standing race.
Huelva went full throttle at the start, and by Lap 2, he already had a commanding lead.
By Lap 6, he was a full lap ahead of the rest of the pack, but with the overlapping rule disregarded in the race, that is, the overall leader can still be eliminated even if he is way ahead as long as he is the last to arrive at the finish line from the bottom group, the early barrage turned out to be costly as he found himself already at the group of those in danger of elimination.
Realizing his error, Huelva slowed down and kept in pace with the others before making another run for the top midway through the race.
But his next burst put him another full lap ahead of the remaining racers, virtually turning what was supposed to be a 39-lap race to a 41-lapper, and he had to get out of the bottom group to stay alive.
Good thing Aquino was there to once again remind Huelva of the rules, and Huelva just stayed in the lead group with him and Teng Querimit.
With Huelva and Aquino left to slug it out in the last lap, Aquino yielded and let Huelva take the top spot.
"Mistake ko [yung paghapit ko sa simula]. Buti na lang ako pa rin ang nanalo," Huelva told Wazzup Pilipinas after the race.
Huelva also earned the right to represent the Philippines in the Red Bull Last Stand knockout race in San Antonio, USA.
Querimit, the nephew of cycling legend Arnel, bucked a mechanical error to finish third, getting the last boot at the end of Lap 40.
On the other hand, Japo Parcero ruled the women's race.
The UP alumna, who is still part of the Quezon City campus' cycling club, broke away in the final lap to beat the entire Team Mako troika, who were all part of the geared category, whose race was merged with that of the fixed gear race, where Parcero was part of. Team Mako would sweep the podium in the geared category.
In the men's geared race, Rodolfo Balanza took the top spot followed by Joshua Atienza and Joshua Monton.
Below is the official press release of the event:
Circulo Verde Chasedown Determines Entrants to Red Bull Last Stand
March 20th, 2017, MANILA,
Philippines - On March 19th 2017, the Metro Race Collective, in partnership with Ortigas & Company, organized the 1st annual Circulo Verde Chase Down – a fixed gear, eliminator style criterium event held at Circulo Verde.
In the eliminator format only the strongest survive. The slowest rider each lap is taken out of the race until one winner outlasts the competition, which makes for tense, dramatic racing that leaves little room for error.
On hand for the event were USAC Sanctioned Race Director, Ravi Rajcoomar, and world-renowned cyclist, Addison Zawada, who co-hosted the event.
“I’m here to hang out and chill with everyone here in the Philippines”, says Zawada. “This is a really fun and enjoyable race for the crowd. It’s really spectator friendly.”
“This my first time here in Manila and it was great to see the level of competition”, shares Rajcoomar. “it was really, really high. Cycling can flourish here in the Philippines.
The Fixed Geared Men’s race was the highlight of the event, which saw Ronnel Hualda take the victory in a dominating fashion. It proved to be the cyclist’s strongest showing, coming in over major competition that included Philippine National Team (Go for Gold) member, Jerry Roa Aquino. The victory cements Hualda’s place for the Red Bull Last Stand, which takes place later this year at the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, USA.
“First time ko mag laro ng gan ‘to”, shares Hualda. “So masaya ‘ko kasi first time ko naglaro nang gan’tong klase na karera, nanalo ako!”
For Red Bull 'Last Stand’ the typical crit race format is getting a Texas-style overhaul with the new ‘Eliminator’ format. In this cutthroat setup, the rider who crosses the finish line last on each lap gets eliminated until there’s just one rider left to take their final celebration lap.
Other highlights included the Fixed Women (open), which saw a well-earned victory from Japo Parcero. “Well, I didn’t expect it because this is my first criterium race but it feels awesome”, says Parcero. “It would be awesome for this becomes a regular event, to liven up the scene. It’s awesome Red Bull is doing this!”
Also on hand for the event was the former editor of Women’s Health Philippines, Lara Parpan. “The event is well organized, the community is tight knit so there’s this feeling of camaraderie.”
Men’s Fixed Race
1. Ronnel Hualda
2. Jerry Roa Aquino
3. Agustin Querimit
Women’ s Fixed Race
1. Japo Parcero
2. Gwyniever Fryce
3. Jannel Geremia
Women’s Geared Race
1. Mary Joyce Monton
2. Marianne Dacumos
3. Joyce Ann Monton
Men’s Geared Race
1. Rodolfo Malangsa
2. Joshua Atienza
3. Jeffrey Monton
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Correspondent: Ivan Stewart Saldajeno