Go For Gold pulls off historic win in national cycling championships | Inquirer Sports

Go For Gold pulls off historic win in national cycling championships

/ 02:17 PM July 03, 2023

PhilCycling National Championships

Go For Gold’s Jonel Carcueva, Jericho Lucero (left) and Jaypee Olarte make history with a 1-2-3 finish in the men’s elite road race in the recent PhilCycling National Championships. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines-Go For Gold’s Jonel Carcueva suffered from cramps immediately after crossing the line for a historic second straight title in the PhilCycling National Championships for Road.

But the pain and sacrifice were all worth it with Carcueva acknowledging that victory won’t be his if not for the teamwork displayed by the Go For Gold cycling team throughout the most celebrated race in the country.


“The team really helped me with this victory. I won’t be here without the support of my teammates, coaches and the entire Go For Gold management,” said Carcueva in Filipino after topping the men’s elite road race of the national championships.


Carcueva, also last year’s gold medalist in the event, actually led Go For Gold in a monumental and rare 1-2-3 finish for a cycling team out of 194 riders after clocking 3:05:20 at the end of the 104-kilometer race made punishing by a long steep climb going to the finish.

Go For Gold teammates Jericho Lucero and Jaypee Olarte claimed the silver and bronze medals after checking in 1:24 and 1:45 behind Carcueva in a course that offered a grueling final ascent in the last 15kms entering the town of Agoncillo in Batangas.

“I’m very proud of our whole team for this result. This year was not the best for our road team, because we have actively tried to join higher quality races,” said Go For Gold founder Jeremy Go.

“I believe this result validates our training philosophy and hopefully will be the start of better things to come,’’ added Go.

Go For Gold is a sports development program under Powerball Marketing and Logistics Corporation, which supports not only Filipino cyclists but other athletes and teams competing in various sports as well.

Rustom Lim, who also rides for Go For Gold, ruled the men’s individual time trial among 54 cyclists with a time of 36:21.5 while another promising Go For Gold cyclist in Emmanuel Dave Montemayor placed second in the men under-23 road race.


“It’s all about teamwork. Everyone in the team helped Jonel win that race. We don’t only look at the results, but we also give much importance to those who helped him win it,” said Go For Gold head coach Ednalyn Hualda.

Carcueva, whose claim to fame was winning the queen stage of the eight-day Tour de Singkarak in 2019, suffered from mechanical problems approaching the hardest climb of the day in Agoncillo.

But the 28-year-old Cebuano quickly gave chase and caught up with the breakaway following a high-velocity descent before cutting loose near the back-breaking Black Wall climb in Laurel, Batangas on his way for a daring solo finish.

“Binigay ko na lahat sa last five kilometers. Nagka-cramps na ako at nahirapan huminga pero tinodo ko na. Sobrang saya, first time in history na back to back champion, first time din na 1-2-3 finish ang isang team,” said Carcueva.

Other members of the Go For Gold cycling squad who raced in the national championships held in Tagaytay City are Ronnilan Quita, Warren Bordeos, Boots Ryan Cayubit, Ryan Bordeos, Aidan James Mendoza and veterans Dominic Perez and Ronnel Hualda, who also helped with the coaching chores.

Under-23 riders John Paul Laureta, Haven Reynante, Marc Ryan Lago, Riener Lim, Yuen Verbruggen, Joshua Gatmaitan, Jhon Byron Lucero and Jan Laurent Javier form part of the team as well as junior riders James Paul Escumbien, Valentino Mendoza, Kien Ebojo and Justhene Navaluna.

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“I hope to get a three-peat next year given the opportunity,” said Carcueva.


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TAGS: PhilCycling National Championships

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