Blending its youth with stamina and tenacity, the Go For Gold-Philippine Continental Cycling Team accomplished the goal that other Filipino cycling squads craved for in the recent 10th Le Tour de Filipinas.
Jonel Carcueva and Daniel Ven Carino formed a formidable and cohesive unit with Ismael Grospe and Jericho Lucero as Go For Gold emerged the best Filipino team in the five-day UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) 2.2 category race.
“As a young team with young Pinoy riders, I believe this validates the faith we have given our developmental team and shows the enormous improvement they have made against other powerhouse Filipino teams,” said Go For Gold godfather Jeremy Go.
It was an impressive followup to the performance of the team in two previous races held in the Philippines early this year – the Ronda Pilipinas and PRURide PH – where Grospe and Carino earned the best young rider accolades, respectively.
“Of course, we would have preferred to get a better placing, especially in the best young rider category, which we had successfully won in our two previous UCI races,” said Go, who also sits as vice president for marketing of Powerball Marketing & Logistics Corporation.
They immediately took control of the race for Filipino riders in Stage 1 in Tagaytay City despite losing team captain Elmer Navarro due to curfew.
The solid teamwork in the succeeding stages worked wonders as the quartet of Lucero, Grospe, Carino and Carcueva followed the strategy laid out by Go For Gold project director and head coach Ednalyn Hualda to the letter.
The best young rider award is reserved for the best-performing cyclist under 23 years old.
In the end, Go For Gold riders edged the Philippine National Team by two minutes and the 7Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Road Bike Philippines by 31 minutes and 26 seconds to become the best Filipino squad in the race that offered UCI ranking points to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.