Pangasinan cycling national records (Part 2)

By May 19, 2024Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.


IN our last week’s issue, I acknowledged the many queries from our avid cycling enthusiasts about who, when, where and how Pangasinan’s cyclists fared and succeeded in competitive cycling over the years. I decided that the best way to respond to these questions is to give details and facts to the best of my memory. I did that by initially listing six items (Part 1) that included 21 names and their multiple achievements, particularly during the Tour of Luzon era and Marlboro Tours, from 1950’s to 1990’s. These facts and this issue’s accounts should already established the colorful history of who and how Pangasinan cyclists dominated competitive racing in the country over the past 7 decades. I hope through my two-part series will help today’s young cycling buffs begin to better appreciate why Pangasinan cyclists were known to be the best in the country.

Here’s the continuation.

7.) The Tour of Luzon was a regional race in format was conducted for 14 years. Pangasinan and Ilocandia teams (Ilocandia was also composed of all Pangasinenses) won 12 diadems out of 14 tries.

8.) Pangasinan cyclists won the most number of Tour of Luzon stage finishes. (I won 11: two in 1964, three in 1965, five in 1973, and one in 1977 to win the national coveted titles.) Pangasinan’s well-known sprinters like the late Virgilio “Boy” Delin and the late Conversion Tolentino, both from Manaoag, recorded eight and five stage victories, respectively.

9.) The 1973 Tour of Luzon was won by three Pangasinenses in 1-2-3 overall fashion finish: myself, the late Cesar Catambay, both of us from cycling-crazy town Mangaldan (as some media men described the town), and Benito Obedoza from Asingan town of the Ilocandia team. I was awarded the presidential trophy in a ceremony in Malacañang Palace by then former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos and then Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile.

10.) Pangasinan was the only province in the country that produced a four-time national Tour champion: Santy Barnachea in 2002, 2006, 2011 and 2015. He broke my record of three victories and that of Muntinlupa City’s Manuel Reynante.

11.) There were 21 Pangasinenses that won the national Tour championships and four were won by cyclists from Mangaldan: I did it in 1973 and twice in 1977 (Tour of PICCA and Tour of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) and Joshua Cariño in 2018 Le Tour de Filipinas. Likewise, my two townmates the Cariño brothers, Samson and Ruben, won the 1975 Tour of PICCA and 1984 Marlboro Tour, respectively. (Note: Unknown to many today, it was then when I became a recording artist as composer and singer under the Vicor Music Corporation, with the popular cycling ditty titled “Buhay Siklista.”

12.) This province also established the closest margin of victory (11.8 seconds): Jacinto Sicam of San Manuel town beat his province mate Ruben Cariño of Mangaldan in 1981 Marlboro Tour.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 1 TIMOTHY 6: 9

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