The 1975 TOUR OF PICCA titleholder, Samson Mejia Cariño, is a former pandesal vendor and plumber who sold his uncle’s cow just to obtain a racer bike in 1973— or two years before making a historic breakthrough as the first rookie cyclist to win a “national multi-stage bikathon” and winning the Tour of PICCA 1975.
The eight-day stages 1975 TOUR OF PICCA with a total length of 1,058.92 kilometers was attended by roughly 36 accredited or elite Philippine cyclists and 6 teams comprised of the defending Ovaltine Energymen, including Patria Parts, Cosmos Pop Cola, Weinmann, General Paint and Urika. The second edition of the spectacle kicked off in Las Pinas on 5 January 1975 and culminated in Malolos, Bulacan on 12 January 1975.
On the first lap, which ran from Las Pinas, Rizal to Lucena City, Quezon Patria Parts rider and Tour of PICCA defending titlist Manuel Reynante outsprinted Amado Go of Ovaltine Energymen by a wheel and Jess Garcia Jr. of Cosmos Drinkers as the trio dashed to the finish in Lucena City.
The following day, stage 2, aggressive Ovaltine Energymen stalwart and Cebuano rider Amado Go finally edged out his closest rivals, Cosmos Pop Cola rider Jess Garcia Jr. and Patria Parts wheeler Manuel Reynante who finished second and third as they headed back to Las Pinas, Rizal from Lucena City.
On the third lap, an unheralded rider from Cosmos Pop Cola Team in the person of the 20-year-old Mangaldan lad, Samson Cariño, arrived all by his lonesome in Olongapo City and dominated the third day of the spectacle. Thus, Carino became the overall leader along with Ramon Hernandez of Ovaltine Energymen, capturing the overall leadership and holding a comfortable five minute-advantage over his veteran competitors.
In the halfway of the eight-day bikathon, on stage 4, another lap win for Patria Parts rider Manuel Reynante, his second stage win in this old bikathon. Though, Cosmos rookie rider Samson Cariño retained the overall leadership.
On stage 5, the duo of Domingo Quilban of Ovaltine Energymen and Jess Garcia, Jr. of Cosmos Drinkers pulled out a win, 1-2, in the mountain stage held in Baguio City. Subsequently, Samson Carino ruled the 22-kilometer individual time trial lap in 59 minutes and 18 seconds from Kennon Road to Baguio City the following stage 6, sealing his overall leadership followed by Garcia and Quilban in the second and third overall.
At the penultimate stage, from Baguio City to Lingayen, Manuel Reynante again made his presence felt as he outwitted rivals. Garcia and Cariño, meanwhile, suffered a spill before reaching the town proper of Manaoag.
Eventually, at the Tour of PICCA second edition conclusion in Malolos, Bulacan, the Tour of PICCA 1975 praised Samson Cariño to the skies after sealing a historic victory in the grueling eight-day tour of PICCA second edition in 1975, becoming the first rookie to win a national multi-stage cycling marathon.
On the other hand, Garcia failed to win a single lap in the eight-lap Tour of PICCA second edition but he peculiarly pulled out a second overall victory, the third time in his cycling history, followed by Ortillano Baring of General Paint. The defending champion Ovaltine Energymen placed only second and was trailed by General Paint, Patria Parts, Weinmann and Urika, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Tour of PICCA defending champion Manuel Reynate lost his bid of winning a back-to-back championship in the second edition of the cycling tour competition. He only placed 11th overall.
Mr. Samson M. Cariño
Mr. Jesus A. Garcia, Jr.
Mr. Jazy F. Garcia
Mr. Gorio Belen
Cycling memories, I was in second-year high school and the Cosmos team was the best team in Tour of PICCA.
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