THE national women’s road team earned a podium finish behind two Vietnamese squads in Stage 1 on Wednesday of the 13th Biwase Cup in Vietnam where the nationals’ modest goal was to warm their legs and gain international exposure for the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games in May.
The team—composed of Kate Yasmin Velasco, Marianne Dacumos, Mathilda Krog, Avegail Rombaon and Mhay Ann Linda—wound up behind Vietnamese squads Cong Ty Cp Tap Doan Loc Troi and Tuyep TP. Hcm Vinama after the 66-km criterium around Binh Duong New City.
All three teams had identical accumulated clocking of 10 hours, four minutes and 48 seconds (total time of the five riders) with the team classification determined by the order of finish of the individual riders.
Velasco finished eighth and Dacumos 10th in the provisional individual results and later wound up 10th and 12th, respectively, after the time and sprint bonuses were applied for the general classification.
Rombaon, Krog and Linda were in 17th, 24th and 26th in the field of 90 cyclists spread out over 18 teams from the host country, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiawan, Thailand and Kazakhstan.
They all finished in a bunch 12 seconds behind 1-2-3 individual finishers Maneephan Julatip (one hour, 40 minutes and 36 seconds) (four seconds behind) and Nguyen Thi Thu Mai of Vietnam and Nur Aisyah Binti Mohd Zubir (five seconds behind) of Malaysia.
Velasco, Dacumos, Rombaon and Krog are regular riders of the Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance team, while Linda, who’s racing abroad for the first time, made the national team from Team Excellent.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and PhilCycling president Rep. Abraham fielded the team—coached by Marita Lucas, Alfie Catalan and Joey de los Reyes and supported by the POC, Philippine Sports Commission, Tagaytay City, MVP Sports Foundation, Standard Insurance, Excellent Noodles and 7-Eleven—to Vietnam for exposure ahead of the Cambodia SEA Games from may 5 to 17.
Two other Filipino riders— Maura de los Reyes and Jelsie Sabado—rode for the Kazakhstan Women Junior Team with three Kazakhs and were caught deep in the peloton to wind up up 63rd and 66th, respectively, but also 12 seconds behind the leader.
Vietnam annually hosts the 10-stage Biwase Cup to celebrate International Women’s Day on Wednesday.
The race is livestreamed on https://www.facebook.com/vcfchannel/posts/pfbid0JWL3EfCcczQdEMuN7aZTHTpnDKxn8QG2dB7Y8Ur9VwC7NLw8yYkS8zKTxEWA54bcl.
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