Dancer, rapper, massuer? No, Carcueva is a cyclist
SANTA ROSA, Laguna— He’s been a hip-hop dancer and a rapper. In his first stint with a cycling team, he was a masseur. This time, 21-year-old Jonel Carcueva may have found his one true calling.
Eight stages into the LBC Ronda Pilipinas cycling tour, the rookie from Menganilla, Cebu, has caught everyone’s attention after figuring among the leaders with a solid shot at the title.
“My father told me to just try cycling to avoid drugs,” said Carcueva who already has a son, Lian, who turned one last Feb. 5. “I won in my first race and soon I enjoyed it.”
Carcueva used to be a member of hip-hop dance group as a student at Minglanilla National High School. Later he became vocalist/rapper of a school band that also performed in small clubs and during fiestas.
But after being convinced by his father to take up cycling, Carcueva, riding a mountain bike, won a local race and ran away with the P5,000 top purse.
“Soon I was really hooked on cycling,” he said in Filipino.
His first try at top-level cycling, however, was a big disappointment after he was bumped off the Kopiko Team in last year’s Le Tour de Pilipinas.
“Just to join the team I served as a masseur even though I don’t know how to massage,” he added while cleaning his bike in Saturday’s rest day here.
Now among the top guns, the Go For Gold rider is currently at fourth place, five minutes and three seconds behind overall leader Jan Paul Morales of Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance.
Suddenly he’s a real threat against Morales and four other Navy aces like Rudy Roque (second with 1:53 deficit), Ronald Lomotos (third with 4:14 deficit), and 19-year-old Jay Pampawog (10th with 9:17 deficit).
Carcueva also leads the Best Young Rider category with a lead of 4:01 over closest pursuer Ismael Grospe Jr.
Sunday’s ninth stage will be a 50-kilometer criterium around the plush mall grounds in Paseo and Nuvali here.
Now, Carcueva is a legitimate man to watch especially with Go For Gold teammates—Bryant Sepnio (sixth, 6:52 off the leader) Elmer Navarro (seventh, 6:59) and Grospe (9th, 9:04)—providing support and all in the top 10 in overall individual classification.
Cris Joven of Kinetix Lab-Army is at fifth place, trailing the leader 5:08 behind the leader.