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Philippine Executive Cycling Championship

Olongapo City, the Philippines, February 5, 2006

Hortaleza wins executive championship

By Tim GoBio, World Cycling Adventures

Ernie Hortaleza has clinched the crown of executive road cycling champion in a thrilling uphill sprint, beating Arnel Aves and Eric Carandang. The 111-kilometre hilly circuit race in the former US Naval base proved to be a very challenging route since only 68 out of the 91 starters were able to finish the race. Hortaleza, a 44 year-old entrepreneur, surprised the 6-man breakaway group on the closing uphill kilometre to the finish line with a mad sprint that almost tore apart his Campagnolo-equipped Giant TCR to pieces. It was such a powerful and painful effort that he did not even have the time for a formal victory salute! The agony and suffering soon turned into pure ecstasy as he realised the achievement of a life long dream.

Riders had to complete a 37 kilometre circuit three times. One race circuit was composed of a tough 4 kilometre mountain climb, a long 5 kilometre uphill false-flat grind, and a 1 kilometre straight uphill drag to the finish line. The flats were on open highways with direct headwinds.

How it unfolded

The race started at 8am with a peloton composed mostly of executive racing cyclists. The 11 kilometre neutralised zone seemed to sufficiently warm up the peloton and on the official start, attacks flew left, right and centre. The peloton chased each attack down, however, but the sudden surge in speed immediately broke up the large field. On the first long mountain climb, riders were strung out as pain kicked in and the struggle had begun.

On the second lap, a five-man breakaway led by Leian Cruz was able to get free; composed mostly of lightweight mountain climbers, they posed a serious threat to the peloton, who organised a severe chase which strung out the riders even more. Out of nowhere Norberto Daa launched a solo chase from the fast-paced peloton to surge ahead at an impossible pace. Sensing the serious threat of the possible merger of the three breakaway riders with the seemingly tireless Daa, Ernie Hortaleza together with Eric Carandang and Glen Nepumuceno also left the main field on the flat roads. Hortaleza's teammates, Toots Chua and Lloyd Santos, dutifully controlled the now tiring peloton. Solo flight Daa was eventually caught by the threesome of Hortaleza, Carandang, and Nepumuceno, and entering into the third and final lap the winning moves were in play.

By the third lap, the courageous five-man breakaway was tiring and severely slowing down as the four-man chase group was running at full-steam ahead and diligently doing their rotations in an organised paceline. One of the breakaways was caught and immediately left struggling, and halfway into the final lap, the Daa and Nepumuceno group were dropped, leaving only Hortaleza and Carandang chasing down the four-man breakaway. The dynamic duo pushed even harder as the remaining fugitives were now within sight. It became a three-rider break versus a two-rider chase.

Up front, Leian Cruz, Arnel Aves, and Jaime Basilio Jr. were suffering all kinds of cramps and pains as fatigue set in and their legs were pedaling in squares instead of the smooth piston-like strokes of the bigger and more powerful chase duo. Over the closing 5-kilometres Hortaleza and Carandang were able to close down the gap and within a few seconds, Glen Nepumuceno suddenly bridged up to the newly formed breakaway. With 4 kilometers left six riders had formed the final winning break. Coming into the final 500 metres, Hortaleza was able to sprint up the last climb, immediately chased by Carandang and Aves. Wrenched in pain and agony, Hortaleza crossed the finish line solo in dramatic fashion, with Aves holding off the courageous Carandang for second place.

Race for a cause and word of thanks

The race was able to raise over US$1,000.00 for aid to the Kythe Cancer Foundation (Child Life Programme). The event was organized by Tim GoBio of World Cycling Adventures Organizers. Event supporters were Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Highland Trading, Anatomic Technical Design, Trek Bicycles, Giant Bicycles, Message Solutions Provider, Inc., and TCL


1 Ernie Hortaleza       3.29.00
2 Arnel C. Aves            1.15
3 Eric Carandang           1.20
4 Leian Cruz               1.23
5 Glen Nepumuceno          1.38
6 Jaime Basilio, Jr.       2.00
7 Roldan Antonio           3.00
8 Pedi Untalan                 
9 Norberto Daa             4.00
10 Ricardo Deguzman            
11 Rommel Cerezo           4.19
12 Jazy Garcia             4.23
13 Toots Chua              4.25
14 Philip Angtuaco         5.00
15 Ted Pascual                 
16 Lloyd Santos            6.00
17 Ronnie Cuevas           6.30
18 Michael Mariano        10.00
19 Rommel Morong          11.00
20 Emmanuel Tumbokon           
21 Honorato Guevarra      16.30
22 Tom Colopano           16.32
23 Eric Malimban          17.00
24 Eduardo Lopez          18.00
25 Nino Laus              19.20
26 Ariel Malabag          19.30
27 Joey Rana              19.32
28 Marcelino Rosario      21.00
29 Ronald Cordero         21.13
30 Francis Mercardo       21.17
31 Tristan Dumlao         22.00
32 Anthony Dee            23.00
33 Edwin Sentasas         24.00
34 Anthony Aquipel        28.00
35 Guiseppie Wellkomm     29.00
36 Sagrado Vicente        30.05
37 Recto Sabandal         30.08
38 Joel Gironnella        30.30
39 Nelson Villamayor      30.33
40 Dennis Resurreccion    32.00
41 Lito Roxas                  
42 Ariel Carpio           37.00
43 Nicolo Ramos           42.00
44 Paolo Ileto            43.00
45 Paul Mutuc                  
46 Edberto Lara           44.00
47 Edgar Garcia           47.00
48 Dennis Kallio          47.22
49 Dondon Nilayan         47.30
50 Agapito Raymundo       48.00
51 Danny Manlulu               
52 Cecil Mendiola         49.00
53 Edward Inocentes       50.00
54 Jingo Hervas           51.00
55 Jomel Grepo            52.00
56 Edmund Mangaser        54.00
57 Rock Allen Lim         54.18
58 Ramos Acuna            54.22
59 Winston Chua           56.00
60 Jimmy Cadena                
61 Ariel De Leon          58.00
62 Alejandro San Juan          
63 Eric Roque             59.00
64 Butch Ydia           1.11.00
65 Ramon Santiago       1.12.00
66 Nicolo Lozada        1.13.00
67 Benjamin Afable      1.30.00
68 Arnel Sanchez               

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