LINGAYEN—Like they always say, playing in one’s home court gives one the edge, the inspiration and motivation to win.
And that’s exactly what happened to the Cariño brothers of Mangaldan town and Mervin Corpuz of Umingan town who gave the province a 1-2-3 finish in Stage 3 of Le Tour de Filipinas that ended in Lingayen on May 22.
“Tinodo naming magkapatid manalo dahil inspirado kami sa suporta ni Governor Espino sa Le Tour de Filipinas at kabisado namin ang mga kalsada sa Pangasinan,” said 17-year old Daniel Ven Cariño, who finished second.
Provincial Sports Development and Management Council Executive Officer Modesto Operaña talks to brothers El Joshua Cariño (center) and Daniel Ven Cariño before the start of Stage 4. (Punchphoto by Willie Lomibao)
His elder brother El Joshua Cariño, 25, won the lap. Cruz was third.
El Joshua said their victory against international cyclists is “victory for the Philippines and most especially, for Pangasinan.”
“Ito po ay dream come true para sa aming magkapatid,” El Joshua said after he out-pedaled his rivals in the grueling 188-km lap from Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, to Lingayen, Pangasinan.
El Joshua also earned both yellow jersey (leader) and purple jersey (Best Filipino Rider), while Daniel Ven, was given the white jersey (Best Young Rider).
The Cariño brothers expressed their gratitude to Gov. Amado Espino III and the provincial government for agreeing to host the international competition.
“Balbaleg ya kagalangan ed sikatayo ya taga-Pangasinan so analo (It is our pride that a Pangasinense won),” Daniel Ven further stated, adding that the familiarity of the race course in the province catapulted them to win this competition.
El Joshua clocked 8:17:23 through three stages while his brother, Daniel Ven logged 8:17:27, a mere 4-second advantage.
Provincial Sports Development and Management Officer Modesto Operania, (representing Gov. Espino) and Rudy Fulo, co-chairman of Le Tour de Filipinas, led the awarding ceremony held at the Capitol Plaza right after the Stage 3 finish.
While they don different colors of their separate teams, El Joshua and Daniel Ven worked as a team, particularly in negotiating Stage 3. Their game plan, according to El Joshua, was to tire out their competitors, especially foreign cyclists, with their pace under the scorching heat of the sun.
El Joshua was with Philippine Navy Standard Insurance while Daniel Ven wore 7-Eleven–CLIQQ Roadbike Philippines colors.
Espino said the strong finish of the Cariño brothers and Cruz (Philippine National Team) proved that Pangasinan is not just a home to wonderful destinations but also to top-caliber homegrown cycling champions.
Another Pangasinense, Ronald Oranza of Villasis town, was third in overall ranking as of Stage 3.
“Pangasinan is a hotbed of world class cyclists,” Jesus Garcia, PUNCH columnist and two-time tour champion, said. “This is one sports event where we can really excel,” he added.
A fifth-timer in the LTD Filipinas, Edgar Nieto, a Spanish national and married to a Dagupeña, praised the over-all success of the stage 3 of LTD Filipinas.
“This year’s edition of the Le Tour De Filipinas gave me excitement since I am now a resident of Pangasinan,” said Nieto. (With reports from PIO/SMDG, MGNO)
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