Philcyling-Go For Gold National Youth and Juniors Championship is a cycling competition organized for teenagers ages 14 to 17. Its sole purpose is to spur youngsters and other promising teenagers to join cycling at an early age.
Approximately 120 entrants out of the 155 registrants, who earlier registered, partook in the first-ever National Youth and Juniors Championship, which was categorized into two divisions, youth (ages 14 to 15) and juniors (ages 16 to 17).
The stage one race kicked off in Barangay Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas on 22 November 2018, precisely 9 in the morning.
Go For Gold Vice President for Marketing, Jeremy Go, and former PSC Chairman and Philippine Army Bicycology Team Manager, Mr. Eric Buhain, who both handed checkered flags, spearheaded and graced the event.
Fifty-two youth riders signed up and competed in the 38.9 kms, 1-lap road race within Batangas.
After the five km-neutral lap, the fifty riders were flagged off as they traversed at midday Lian, Batangas highway en route to Nasugbu Rd.
Moments later, about 10 kilometers from the zero mark, eight riders from the peloton figured in an abrupt biff along Nasugbu Rd. Consequently, two of the eight riders involved in a mishap sadly did not finish the race, while the other youth competitor was only identified as rider no. 163 from Quezon City who sustained bruises.
After an hour and a minute, fourteen-year-old Aljim Martin emerged at the finish line solo with a clocking of 1:01:00.26 and 38.51 kph average speed. Then, Josue Albert followed adrift of 2 minutes and 18.59 seconds from the solo race leader. The two youth riders, John Paul Laureta and Josue Albert, had a close race with only 24 millisecond-difference.
Meanwhile, the Juniors Category was also a thrilling and jaw-dropping road race. Fifty-six participants competed in the 82.9 kilometers, 2-lap road race.
Twenty minutes after they were flagged off, four breakaway riders immediately pulled away from the main bunch. The peloton remained at the second group in the majority of the course, while the first group, comprised of Marcryan Mendoza and Efren Reyes Jr., had secured their post.
Early in the race, the second group was comprised of 7-Eleven by Roadbike Philippines Rench Michael Mendoza and Go For Gold Ean Cajucom. However, when Rench Michael Mendoza felt uneasy and suffered a momentary set back because of sprain along Balayan, Ean Cajucom took the helm as a solo chaser adrift of three minutes from the first group.
At this juncture, Rench Michael Mendoza and Dave Clarence Cortez were lagging behind the first group by roughly four minutes.
But as Cajucom chased the race leaders and tried persistenly to bridge the gap, his time difference from the first group significantly improved.
Approximately 100 meters to the finish line, the two junior stalwarts, Efren Reyes Jr. and Marcryan Mendoza, engaged in a nail-biting finish and electrifying showdown as the two junior riders dashed headlong to the finish line.
As a result, Mendoza outstripped and vanquished Reyes in the nick of time and dominated the stage one of the Junior Category.
Officially, Marcryan Mendoza, the Larga Pilipinas inaugural race U21 category champion, capped off the race with a clocking of 2:11:04.80, a 3-millisecond advantage against his closest rival, Efren Reyes Jr. Mendoza who registered an average speed of 37.85kph in the entire course.
After a minute and fifty-one seconds, Go For Gold Ean Cajucom emerged at the basecamp rides. Then, Rench Michael Mendoza, the 4th placer, and Dave Clarence Cortez, the fifth placer crossed the finish line four minutes later.
Congresswoman Eileen Ermita-Buhain, thru PSC Chairman Eric Buhain, gave the stage winners boxed-balisong trophies and plaques.
On the second day, stage 2 of the trials held in Tagaytay City, twenty-three junior riders and twenty-four youth riders competed once and for all to break their record and aim stage honors.
In the youth category, Ronald Oranza’s prodigy and cousin Aljim Martin, the youth category stage one champion, emerged as well as the 9.2-kilometer ITT stage two overall victor, 20 seconds ahead of John Paul Laureta and Justin Nathaniel Valerio, the first runner-up and the second runner-up.
Junior Category stage one champion, Marcryan Mendoza, who hails from Pangasinan, ruled the 13-kilometer ITT stage two Junior championship, while his closest rival, Efren Reyes Jr., the second placer. Rench Michael Bondoc took the third spot.
Both Aljim Martin and Marcryan Mendoza swept the two stages and dominated their respective category in the National Youth and Juniors Championship.
After the race, Go For Gold honcho Jeremy Go introduced and presented the top five winners of the competition he handpicked to be part of Go for Gold Developmental Team.
The National Youth and Juniors Championp’s top five winners are Marcryan Mendoza, Efren Reyes Jr., Aljim Martin, Josue Albert Decuzar, and John Paul Laureta who will be part of Go for Gold Junior Growth Program along with the existing junior riders like Bryan Lucero and Ean Cajucom once they secured permission from their parents as these riders are still minors.
According to Go For Gold Vice President for Marketing, Jeremy Go, training, skills development, junior races, including local amateur races, await these newly incorporated apprentices. Go further added that Go For Gold will periodically and closely monitor their individual development. Likewise, the team aims to establish a good rapport with the newly signed up riders to develop their social aspect.
Go For Gold National Youth and Juniors Championship was presented to you by PCSO Scratch it, PhilCycling, BikeXtreme, Boy Kanin, Storck Store Manila, Tagaytay International Convention Center in cooperation with Batangas Congresswoman Elenita Milagros “Eileen” Ermita-Buhain and Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino.