Marcryan Mendoza and Efren Reyes Jr. proved themselves worthy of spots in the national junior team that will compete in several international races next year after recently topping the Philcycling Go For Gold National Youth and Junior Trials.
With the ultimate goal of sending a Filipino cyclist to the Olympics, Philcycling and Go For Gold have tapped Mendoza and Reyes along with youth category champion Aljim Martin, Josue Albert Decuzar and John Paul Laureta.
According to Go For Gold project director Ednalyn Hualda these riders would see action in the Asian Cycling Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan early next year and compete in other races overseas that offer UCI points.
Joining the seven-man junior squad to be bankrolled by Go For Gold under the auspices of Philcycling are Go For Gold mainstays Ean Cajucom and John Byron Lucero, a triathlete who will maximize his cycling talents for the national team.
Go For Gold godfather Jeremy Go said these riders will sign a one-year contract to train and race for the team with consent from their parents. They will also receive a monthly stipend from Go For Gold throughout the duration of the program.
Hualda said these riders would be encouraged to divide their time between racing and going to school.
“If you’re a part of the developmental program, education should also be a priority. This is one of the things that we want our cyclists to embrace,’’ said Go.
Mendoza, son of veteran cyclist Ryan Mendoza, ruled the massed start road race and individual time trial events in the 16-17 junior category during the tryouts with Reyes placing second to Mendoza on both occasions.
In the 14-15 youth category, selecting Martin was a no-brainer after the 15-year-old from Villasis, Pangasinan topped both massed start and ITT events while Decuzar finished second in the road race. Laureta was the second fastest in the youth ITT.