Barnachea eyeing 3rd Ronda title next year | Inquirer Sports

Barnachea eyeing 3rd Ronda title next year

/ 01:25 AM March 01, 2015

BAGUIO CITY—Despite winning the 2015 Ronda Pilipinas—actually his fourth Tour title—Santy Barnachea said Friday the effort was not enough to line him up with other cycling greats with multiple titles.

“What they accomplished were way too hard. Especially back-to-back titles,” said Barnachea in Filipino during a media interview at the crowded Burnham Park here after clinching P1 million for his latest feat.

It was his second Ronda title after winning the 12-stage inaugural edition in 2011. He had previously won the four-stage Tour of Calabarzon (2002) and eight-stage Padyak Pinoy in 2006.


But there’s no stopping experts from comparing him with bikathon legends like Jose Sumalde (winner in 1965 and 1967), Antonio Arzala (who prevailed in 1955, 1956 and 1959), and back-to-back champs Cornelio Padilla (1966 and 1967) and Jacinto Sicam (1981 and 1982).


More so if he repeats next year in what he said will be his last race before getting off his bike for good.

Though this year’s Ronda was relatively short, eight stages crammed in just six days, what made Barnachea’s feat striking was the fact that he accomplished it just when everybody thought he was up for retirement.

Before the event, Barnachea was dabbling in triathlon, competing in relays as well as mentoring aspiring triathletes especially in cycling.

The 38-year-old Barnachea was also asked about retirement halfway through the competition but said “let’s talk about it some other day, for as long as the sponsors trust me, I will still compete.”

Barnachea later acknowledged that his latest championship was “probably the easiest” among his previous Tour conquests.

“I don’t really think I’m that good. It just happened that I’m in top physical shape and we had tough training, plus the support of my teammates who are also strong riders,” he said.


Meanwhile, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who was a guest of honor during the Ronda awarding ceremony,  said his city is stepping up preparations to host the Palarong Pambansa next year.

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TAGS: Burnham Park, honor, legends, Ronda

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