This year’s highly anticipated San Fabian MTB race billed as the 2021 BM Liberato “Riby” Villegas Mountain Bikefest coincided with the 304th founding anniversary of the seaside town of San Fabian on 21 March 2021.
Pangasinan Fourth District Board Member and mountain bike aficionado Riby Villegas spearheaded and sponsored the one-day mountain bike race which is initially slated for San Fabian residents only.
However, due to the influx of inspired participants from neighboring towns, BM Villegas decided outright and considered to accommodate non-San Fabian residents by adding an open-guest category two hours before the race started at 9:30 am in Angio Centrum Gas Station.
The long-expected fixture was attended mostly by Pangasinan citizens and other participants from neighboring provinces like La Union, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan.
So, to make the mountain bikefest as safe as possible, veteran Race Director Jesus Aquino Garcia, Jr. and Assistant Race Director and Jazysports founder Jazy Garcia formulated a safe cycling route and painstakingly conceptualized the 41.5 kilometer-route that would go around off the beaten path and barangays of Angio, Aramal, Mabilao, Palapad, Binday for three laps before scaling up the final 3.2 km-stretch en route to the finish line at Biker’s Den in Inmalog Sur via Lipit-Tomeeng.
The summery MTB race turned out to be a resounding success. The combined 62 riders from the San Fabian category and Open-Guest category initially promenaded within Pangasinan-La Union Road for roughly six kilometers before BM Villegas flagged them off somewhere in Barangay Mabilao.
At first, three riders from Team Tutok of the San Fabian category dictated the pace. Eventually, the three of them became instant podium finishers via 1-2-3 finish.
Wendyl Gali, the category’s first placer, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when he put the hammer down and outpaced his fellow teammate Matt Gonzalo in the final 50 meters in Barangay Inmalog Sur en route to the finish line.
According to the 17-year-old Cabaruan hopeful and Team Tutok skipper, Wendyl Gali, their team decided to pull out of the first group in the crucial final five kilometers of the race to clinch their desired result. His win came after borrowing a bike from a friend.
The overall winner is a seasoned amateur local racer. Recently, he had won two cycling championships in La Union.
Meanwhile, the promising Bulacan amateur pedal-pusher Christian “Unga” Carlos decisively subjugated rivals as he ruled the open-guest category in his fashion. The three-time MCC Bulacan and 7-Eleven trail 2019 champion had been in the breakaway all by his lonesome in the last 20 kilometers before making headway to the finish line.
Before crashing alongside 28-year-old fellow rider Fidel Ramos of La Union somewhere in Barangay Palapad during the first lap, fellow rider Raffy Cervantes had initially outpaced 26 riders in his category as he was a solo leader early in the race.
Despite riding with a single front chainring, Sherwin Carrera still managed to complete the podium. Carrera finished the race third behind Cervantes in the open-guest category.
Here are the final results of the 2021 BM Liberato “Riby” Villegas Mountain Bikefest.
|GENERAL CLASSIFICATION||SAN FABIAN RESIDENTS CATEGORY||SAN FABIAN BARANGAY|
|GENERAL CLASSIFICATION||OPEN-GUEST CATEGORY||PROVINCE|