Sports Eye

Pangasinan’s unsurpassed PH cycling records, heroes
(First of two series)

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

SINCE COVID-19 contagion continues, no sports activities could be staged anywhere and at anytime. So, I’ll take this opportunity to  give into the request of  my two cycling friends both from San Carlos City, Blann Caguioa (now based in Sugarland, Texas) and Reynaldo Magalong Peralta to recall some trivia, remarkable and monumental accomplishments of our Pangasinan cyclists, then and until now, since I started to love this two-wheeled sport in 1957.

Here they are:
1. Pangasinan has produced 22 individual champions in multi-stage racing in the Philippines, the highest in the country. Metro Manila is a far second with eight, Bicol with four, Nueva Vizcaya and Cebu with three each.

2. Santy Barnachea from Umingan is the only Filipino four-time major Tour champion, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2015.

3. Pangasinenses were the only cyclists that managed 1-2-3 Overall finishes in major Tours: Jesus Garcia Jr., Cesar Catambay, both from Mangaldan and Benito Obedoza from Villasis did it in 1973 Tour of Luzon.  Then, Jesus Garcia Jr., Benjamin Gorospe from Urdaneta and Efren Casta from Bolinao did it in 1977 Marlboro Tour of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

4. Pangasinenses were the only cyclists to accomplish a 1-2-3 Stage finishes in major Tours. Bienvenido Bongato of Mapandan, Teofilo Cuison of Dagupan City and Felipe Alvarez of Basista did it in 1963 Tour of Luzon; Cariño brothers Ruben and Samson and this writer in 1977 Tour of PICCA (Philippine Commercial Cycling Association); Joshua Cariño, Daniel Ven Cariño (both from Mangaldan) and Melvin Corpuz of Umingan in 2018 Le Tour de Filipinas.

5. Pangasinenses were the only cyclists to produce seven finishers among top ten in overall standing: It was in 1973 Tour of Luzon when I was declared champion, first runner-up was Cesar Catambay (both from Mangaldan), Benito Obedoza (3rd, Villasis), Domingo Arzadon (6th, Dagupan City), Arturo Corpuz (7th, Alaminos), Teodorico Rimarim (8th, Basista), Benjamin Gorospe (9th, (Urdaneta).

6. Pangasinenses were the only cyclists to finish 1-2 in the Overall standing in any major Tours: Rufino Gabot and Igmedio Jacinto both from Manaoag in 1957 Tour of Luzon; Mamerto Eden of Mapandan and Teofilo Cuison of Dagupan City in 1958 Tour of Luzon; Jesus Garcia, Jr. and Cesar Catambay in 1973 Tour of Luzon; Teodorico Rimarim and Cesar Catambay in 1974 Tour of Luzon-Visayas; Samson Cariño and Jesus Garcia, Jr. in 1975 Tour of PICCA; Jesus Garcia, Jr. and Ruben Cariño in1977 Tour of PICCA; Jesus Garcia, Jr. and Benjamin Gorospe in 1977 Tour of Luzon, Visaya and Mindanao; Jacinto Sicam of San Manuel and Fermin Zabala of Bautista in 1981 Marlboro Tour; Jacinto Sicam and Ruben Cariño in 1982 Marlboro Tour; Romeo Bonzo of Sual and Cesar Catambay in 1983 Marlboro Tour; Pepito Calip of Binalonan and Ruben Cariño in 1985 Marlboro Tour; Santy Barnachea and Arnel Quirimit of Pozorrubio in 2002 Tour of Calabarzon.

7. Mangaldan town is the only town in the country that produced four national Tour champions: Jesus Garcia, Jr., and the Cariño relatives Samson, Ruben and Joshua.

8. Pepito Calip recorded the fastest 36-kilometer individual-time-trial from Saitan junction Rosario, La Union to Burnham Park, Baguio City via Kennon with a time of one hour, 52 minutes, 58 seconds in 1985 Marlboro Tour.

9. Pangasinenses had 17 team victories during the era of Tour of Luzon with 17 the most number by a provincial team.

  1. Pangasinan produced the only recording artist, singing cyclist, in the Philippines, that hit the airwarves: This writer. (To be continued).

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain. ISAIAH 26: 20-21

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