Pangasinan cycling national records (Part 1 of 2)

By May 12, 2024Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

I SEE it as my responsibility to respond to queries from our avid cycling readers here and overseas about Pangasinan cycling history in this two-wheeled sport. Yes, I can cite many details about it having been a 32-years veteran myself in this sport from 1961 to 1993.  Here are the information asked for:
1) Pangasinan has the most number of wins in team competitions during the fourteen years of the regional multi-stage bicycle races called “Tour of Luzon,” under the organization of our province mate the late Atty. Geruncio Lacuesta of Bayambang town.

2) Pangasinan and its brother team Ilocandia (Ilocandia was also all composed of Pangasinan cyclists), won 12 of the 14 Tour of Luzon team tiaras.

3) Pangasinan and Ilocandia teams led then by two ex-champions Rufino Gabot and Gonzalo Recodos were composed of Ignacio Jacinto, Felizardo Perdido, Conversion Tolentino of Manaoag, former champion Mamerto Eden and Bienvenido Bongato of Mapandan, Tranquilino Armendez, Tomas Quevedo, Henry Padilla, Wincelmo Baguio, Benjamin Gorospe of Urdaneta, erstwhile champion Edmundo de Guzman of Lingayen, Victor Decano and Federico Bustamante of Binmaley, Arturo Corpuz of Alaminos, Jesus Garcia, Jr., Cesar Catambay, Eduardo Pariño of Mangaldan, Wincelmo Baguio of Urdaneta, Teofilo Aquino of Binmaley, Tranquilino de Vera of Tayug and two Mangaldan cycling adopted sons Manuel Pucan and Franklin Navarro. The others who joined later were former champion Teodorico Rimarim and Rolando Cagunot of Basista, Villasis native Benito Obedoza, erstwhile champion Samson Etrata and William Calip of Binalonan and Modesto Bonzo of Sual.

4) Tour of Luzon was defunct for good and the 1977 fifteen-day race Marlboro Tour of Luzon followed that I won. It was temporarily paused in 1978 and was revived in 1979. After 15 years of annual racing, five Pangasinan cyclists won the yearly two-week bikathon six times led by Jacinto Sicam of San Manuel in 1981 and 1982, Romeo Bonzo of Sual in 1983, Ruben Cariño of Mangaldan in 1984, Pepito Calip of Binalonan in 1985 and Bernardo Llentada of San Nicolas in 1991.

5) After the Tour of Luzon era, a multi-stage race “Tour of PICCA” (Philippine Industrial Commercial Cycling Association) was launched. After four years of running, Tour of PICCA was stopped for good and Marlboro Tour was reorganized and ended after 15 years of implementing. Various national multi-stage races emerged the following years like the Tour ng Pilipinas, FedEx Tour, Le Tour de Filipinas, Pilipinas Bikathon, Padyak Pinoy, and the latest and the last, so far, was the Ronda Pilipinas, which paused its hostilities last year and this year. My reliable source says the 10-day bikefest will be revived next year. Despite my pessimism, hopefully it will be done.

6) Pangasinan produced national champions in these races: Reynaldo Navarro and Wilfredo Calosa, both from San Jacinto, Santy Barnachea of Umingan, (the only four-time national Tour champion breaking my record of three), Arnel Quirimit of Pozorrubio, Baler Ravina of Asingan, Joshua Cariño of Mangaldan, and the last, so far, Ronald Oranza of Villasis. In brief Pangasinan produced 21 distinguished national Tour champions. (I already mentioned all their names and the title of races they stopped my previous columns).

To be continued in the next week issue.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. ROMANS 12: 19

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