Efren Reyes Jr. is arguably Go For Gold’s underrated all-rounder who hails from the World’s Bangus Capital, Dagupan City, in the Province of Pangasinan.
The former Executive 7-Eleven rider rose to prominence during his head-to-head clash with U21 Larga Pilipinas champion, Marcryan Lago, in the National Youth and Juniors Championship by Philcycling and Go For Gold in 2018.
Efren Reyes is the third-born child of a jeepney operator and a fish vendor in the City of Dagupan. The Dagupeño rider was born on 12 October 2001 in a medical center in Dagupan City.
Besides being a talented sportsman, he is a man of ambition—the quality he inherited from his parents.
The venturous youngster had started his fondness for biking by the time his ma obtained a mountain bike for him when he was nine years old.
In 2013, he participated in two MTB cross-country events organized by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) District Engineer Rodolfo Dion in Dagupan City and the bordering San Fabian Municipality.
Fortunately, the novice podiumed in the Dagupan MTB cross-country competition, while he was among the top ten finishers in the Inmalog race in San Fabian. Barangay Inmalog Norte trail is among the popular village trails in Pangasinan.
Following the underdog’s notable endings in the MTB races, the tyro rider was scouted by the DPWH District Engineer Rodolfo Dion and offered the former a sponsorship. Subsequently, Mr. Dion, the supportive sponsor whom Reyes owed a debt of gratitude, financed the dynamo’s future races and proffered the Cinelli road bike to his cycling prodigy.
In the same way, the sympathetic Mr. Dion had backed the youth rider’s schooling from grade 7 to senior high school.
In 2014, Reyes, alongside five Pangasinense amateur racers, took part in Batang Pinoy Games, a Philippine Sports Commission grassroots program.
For the first time in his amateur career, the thirteen-year-old Efren Reyes Jr. eventually became a cycling champion at Batang Pinoy Games National Championships held in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental from 9 to 13 December 2014.
From 2015 to 2017, Reyes continued to partake in various local races and finally clinched the top ten finishes.
In 2018, Metro Dagupan City Cycling Club, Inc. (MDCCI) rider Reyes pulled off the 81-km Vuelta Dagupan open category road race.
In the same year, Reyes participated in the Philippine National Games hosted by the Provincial City and Government of Cebu on 19 to 25 May 2018.
The small but mighty Reyes nipped two golds in the competition’s Individual Time Trial and Road Race. Meanwhile, in the ensuing criterium race, Reyes capped off the race third and received a bronze medal.
The Dagupeño rider also engaged in Tour of Matabungkay, one of the country’s biggest and longest-running amateur races, in October 2018.
In the competition’s 70-km stage 2 race, the Executive 7-Eleven rider Reyes finished up tenth. At its final stage, he trailed the first placer Ean Cajucom of Go For Gold. But as the race drew to a close, Efren Reyes Jr. accomplished the competition 11th in the overall general classification.
In November 2018, the then Team Executive 7-Eleven pedal pusher took part in the first Philcycling-Go For Gold National Youth and Juniors Championship equipped with a Superteam bike courtesy of Mr. Paul Laurence Tan.
On Juniors’ race stage one in Batangas, Marcryan Lago vanquished Efren Reyes Jr. by a razor-thin margin as both sprinted head-to-head to the finish. At the races’ conclusion, Philycling and Go For Gold proclaimed Reyes the runner-up and Lago the 2018 National Youth and Juniors Championship overall titleholder.
After the National Youth and Juniors Championship competitions in Batangas and Cavite, sports patron Jeremy Go recruited on the spot Efren Reyes Jr. alongside competitions’ four top riders. The riders would later undergo strenuous training managed by Go For Gold topnotch coach Edz Hualda.
In December that year, he signed up for the annual Go For Gold contract. After, Go For Gold VP for Marketing, Jeremy Go presented him STORCK Visioner—Reyes’ most favorite among his two road bikes.
In March 2019, Reyes emerged victorious at the two-stage Vuelta Dagupan Tour of Pines road cycling competitions. Initially, he finished up second on stage one but bounced back on stage two, becoming the Vuelta Dagupan Tour of Pines 2019 open category overall champion.
In April 2019, the teenage rider shined anew at the fourth edition of PRUride PH and seized its U23 Category championship in Filinvest, Alabang.
The Go For Gold youngster also partook in several races overseas, such as:
- 2019 Asian Road Cycling Championships in Uzbekistan
- 2019 Tour de DMZ in South Korea
The nineteen-year-old Efren Reyes Jr. wants to acknowledge the Metro Dagupan City Cycling Team, Inc., as this lineup had brought him to different cycling events in the old days.