PLACIDO VALDEZ | Always a bridesmaid, never a bride

Placido “The Flash” Valdez is a native of Munoz, Nueva Ecija. He is revered as the first-rate Filipino wheeler, never to win a single Tour. Valdez earned five runners-up between 1991 and 1996 in his Marlboro Tour career. In the same way, he ran away with an Eagle of the Mountain award twice in the fabled Marlboro Tour. To date, Placido Valdez and Miguel Valentin are the only Novo Ecijano participants who obtained the highly coveted eagle of the mountain award in their respective Marlboro Tour careers.

The lionhearted Placido Valdez passed the acid test of bravery and thus earned the moniker “The FLASH” after a notable rapid descent on Marcos Highway at a speed of 118 Kph in 1995.

Valdez is the contemporary of the biggest professional cycling standouts in his era, like Renato Dolosa, Carlo Guieb, Loreto Mandi and Bernardo Llentada.

As a national cycling team athlete, Valdez was among the Philippine contingent who participated in the prestigious Tour of Ireland in 1997. That was the first and last appearance of the Philippine national cycling team in the same race.

Historically, the incomparable and inimitable Valdez has held the longest-recorded breakaway, 120 km, all alone and walked away with a Catbalogan to Calbayog stage win in Marlboro Tour ’94.

The true class act is the 1997 Marlboro Tour International 2nd runner-up, trailing Hong Kong national Wong Kam Po and Malabon pride Victor Espiritu.

To date, Placido Valdez is the only Filipino to win a gold medal in the Asian Mountain Bike Championships, which he won in 1997.

Valdez is similarly the 2003 Air21 Tour Pilipinas King of the Mountain Overall Leader and Baguio to Baguio Stage Winner. Ultimately, the buoyant Novo Ecijano pedal pusher is the 2009 Tour de Cagayan overall champion.

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