The Tour of Matabungkay (TOM), one of the biggest and longest-running amateur cycling competitions in the Philippines, has been in full swing for fourteen years.
The TOM, a yearly coveted three-day bikathon, is annually organized by the head organizer and race director, Architect Quin Baterna.
TOM 2018 is comprised of six different categories, to wit:
- 24 to 35
- 36 to 45
- 46 Up
The Tour of Matabungkay 2018 was originally slated from 19 October to 21 October 2018. The prestigious tour was divided into four stages:
- The Individual Time Trial (ITT) and the three grueling road races which have a total distance of roughly 322 kms.
On 12 October 2018, precisely six in the morning, the organizer launched the 40-km Individual Time Trial (ITT). The time trialists were released 30 seconds after the other in Barangay Matabungkay.
Then, the ITT thrilled participants from different categories traversed neighboring Municipalities of Balayan, Nasugbu and Calatagan and finished off the race in Bgy. Puting Kahoy, in the Municipality of Lian.
After the prologue’s conclusion, the race director then commenced the second stage race, beginning with the 88-km-stage two road competition at 1 pm on the same day.
About 300 riders from the different categories, as listed earlier, were released in succession every five minutes.
As the riders left Matabungkay Beach Resort and Hotel, they began the 15-km neutral lap. Upon reaching the zero kilometer, the race director flagged them off, signaling the start of this year’s road race competitions.
Immediately, riders scrambled in front of the race column. Next, the pedalers hastily streamed the Towns of Lian, Nasugbu, Tuy and Balayan. Then, they headed towards the finish line in Barangay Puting Kahoy in Lian.
It took the race leaders from different categories more than two hours to complete the 88-km racecourse.
The following day, at 8 in the morning, noticeably, the exhilarated entrants ballooned to more than 300 on Saturday morning.
The race started on the dot at 9 am. Forthwith, the race director set the TOM stage 3 in motion after the 15-km neutral lap.
Simultaneously, pedal pushers began the 105-km journey, traversing the familiar townships of Balayan, Lemery, Nasugbu, Tuy and Lian.
Among the four stages, the TOM Stage 3 is the longest scheduled road race. The eager participants again traversed the predominantly flat terrain in Balayan and Lemery, except for the rolling terrain in Nasugbu, then to the expanse in Tuy and Lian.
The 88.39-km-Queen stage was the fourth and final day of the competition, held on 14 October 2018.
As customary, the riders again promenaded within the 15-km neutral zone before the race director flagged these cyclists off near Calaca Municipal Hall.
The lung-busting stage 4 was considered the most notorious given the intense uphill which started past Barangay Madalunot in Calaca Town.
The Tumbaga climb, located between Sitio Matipok and Barangay Balimbing, and the Tamayo climb are the two of the most challenging yet famous walls among XC and trail riders.
The Tumbaga climb is notorious for its 20-degree incline, while the Tamayo climb for its 25-degree incline.
Along the racecourse, stoked vultures tried to cheer the participants up as they negotiated the double-track, uphill racecourse.
The TOM organizers did not include the king of the mountain (KOM) point nor a sprint point for this particular four-stage amateur road cycling race.
The participants had turned the corner and finally got a buzz upon reaching Diokno Highway (Payapa Rd). The Payapa Rd. made way for a downhill racing en route to Nasugbu, after busting a killer ascent in Calaca.
Meanwhile, Franzia Wine’s Eloiza Regaliza, a women’s category partaker, figured in a collision with another rider as both riders made headway in the race. The wipeout came about in Calaca, Batangas, as she lost control of the handlebar shortly after getting refreshment.
Continually, as the contenders went across the downslope gradient on Nasugbu Highway, going to Lian Municipality, they sped up trying to clinch the respective overall leadership in the general classification. Race leaders and chasers attacked and redlined at about 70 kph, overlapping seemingly scattered categories.
About 20 kilometers to the finish line, different categories were racing helter-skelter. At this juncture, I could hardly see race leaders of respective categories.
So later in the race, I decided to stay and waited at the finish line for the live stream report and update, with the help and support of the timing official, Mr. Wilson Cheng.
The race champions from different categories who dominated the Final Stage of the Tour of Matabungkay:
|Go For Gold||Rex Luis Krog||Open|
|COM||Leonard Balanoba||24 to 35|
|Excellent Noodles||Resty Aragon||36 to 45|
|Opus Land-Colnago Manila Racing Team||Romeo Camingao||46 Up|
|Philippine Navy Standard Insurance||Jermyn Prado||Women’s|
Snowscape Video Production covered the Tour of Matabungkay 2018 through Larga Pilipinas live stream reporting and recapitulation.
The Municipality of Lian, 3Q Sports Event and Management, Matabungkay Beach Hotel, Lightwater, Vitamin Boost, Bianchi, Celeste Cycles, Suomy, Smart Helmets, Super Team, TOTEM, LBC, Franzia, Musli Biscuits, Quick track by Versa, Versa.Ph, Beet It, Vitargo and powered by LBC Ronda Pilipinas, Larga Pilipinas, FILOZ, 3Q Construct, Inc., and supported by the Municipalities of Balayan, Calatagan, Nasugbu, Tuy, the Province of Batangas and the House of Representatives presented this year’s Tour of Matabungkay.