Friday, November 13, 2015

Nuvali Dirt Weekend’s top finishers to enter 2016 World Mountain Bike Championship

Last week, the Philippines hosted a venue for the qualifying race for 2016 World Mountain Bike Championship that will be held at Laisssac, France. This qualifying race was held at Nuvali’s Dirt Weekend and it was a sanctioned to be an official qualifier by the Union Cyclist Internationale (UIC). 

Dirt Weekend 2015 media launch at Mind Museum, BGC, Taguig...
In the previous week, the Dirt Weekend organizers held an event launch at the Mind Museum, BGC Taguig. In the launch, the executives of Nuvali were proud to present this year’s Dirt Weekend as the qualifying event for the world championship and it was even acknowledged by the UCI Race Director Geoff Kronenburg who checked the routes, difficulties and distance to make sure that the biking event is at par with world standards. 

Geoff Kronenberg, UCI Director...

At the launch, members of the media were able to experience a very short stint of how a cross-country mountain bike marathon would feel like in 50 meter distance course. Out of 30 participants, I came out as second place garnering a time of eight seconds. That short experience made me consider joining the 35 kilometer Fun Race at Dirt Weekend at Nuvali. Unfortunately, because of an unexpected biking accident I had a week before the race, my bike got some major damages that made it "decommissioned" for a competition. As much as I wanted so much to compete, I decided to forego the opportunity and just cover the race event as a media blogger. 

A taste of XCM in a 50 meter test-ride...
2nd Place with the time of Eight seconds...
At the race venue in Nuvali, thousands were already gathered at the race pavilion. I saw riders who just crossed the finish line resting on the grass with their battered bikes, still covered with dirt and mud. Some got a few bruises along the way but everyone looks so happy despite the exhaustion and fatigue everyone went through. As I took photos of them, I felt a little envious because I really wanted to compete so badly! 

Riders resting while waiting for the official announcement of winners...
Bikes resting from a gruesome cross-country trail-ride...
A rider finishing the last 300 meters to the  finish line...
As we waited for the other finishers to arrive, I took the opportunity to go to the trails and took a few shots of riders in full action, and that made me envy them even more! Adjacent to the pavilion is the course of the Four Cross Challenge where hardcore riders battle each other on a rouged slalom race to get the shortest possible time. I was lucky enough to catch some of the competitors’ raced neck-and-neck to win the top prize. 

Four Cross Mountain Bike. Riders await for the gun-shot...
Four Cross Riders battling neck-and-neck for the shortest time...
But the highlight of the Dirt Weekend race is the Cross Country Marathon (XCM). It was 60 kilometer course and participated by hundreds of riders from all over country and also from other parts of the globe. International delegation was so evident in the race, seeing some of the best riders from Spain, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Portugal, France, Thailand and Singapore. 

A rider cruises his way to finish the course...
A graceful winner...Ms. Ilda Pereira of Portugal, XCM (Women) Elite Champion. 
After all the riders were accounted and crossed the finish line, judges and official race time keepers tallied the time and points to get the top 20 riders. The ranking of the three podium finishers are as follows:

Cross-Country Marathon (XCM) Women Elite World Series

•    3rd Place – Melissa Jaroda of Team Ground Zero (Phil)
•    2nd Place – Yazid Kuzmawati of Team Jabar Polygon (Indonesia)
•    1st Place – Ilda Pereira of Team Mozinho MTB/Martos/HRV (Port)

Ms. Ilda Pereira of Portugal bags the top place of the XCM Women Elite, with Geoff Kroonengerg, and John Estacio
3rd Place - Ms. Melissa Jaroda of Team Ground Zero (Phil) with UCI Derector Geoff Kronenberg and Nuvali General Manager, John Estacio
Cross-Country Marathon (XCM) Men Elite World Series

•    3rd Place – Alvin Benosa of Team BMC Phil. (Phil)
•    2nd Place – Tawatchai Jerra Vatchatam of Team Singha Infinite (Thai)
•    1st Place – Milton Javier Ramos-Gomez of Team Intense Bikes Go-Pro (Hunduras)

The three Podium winners...
2nd Place -Tawatchai Jeeravatacham of Thailand, 1st Place - Milton Javier Ramos Gomez of Honduras and 3rd Place Alvin Banosa of the Philippines
All the podium finishers and the top 20 riders are qualified to compete at the 2016 World Mountain Bike (MTB) Championship in Laissac, France.

The Philippines was not able to bag the top places but it is for certain that the Philippines delegations will double their preparation to compete with the world’s top riders next year. Nuvali, as an ideal training ground will make sure that these Pinoy athletes will have the best mountain bike trails, landscape and topographic technicalities that will set their game to be as world best. Good luck, team Philippines! 


     
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