Asia

Cebu City’s Carlo Villarica finishes 2022 UCI Gravel World Series Philippines’ 85km course in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija

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Carlo Fernan Villarica, 36, of Cebu City, Philippines was one of the Filipino cyclists who successfully participated in the 2022 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Gravel World Series Philippines. He is from Villain.

The race was held in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, Philippines on April 3, 2022. It was the first leg of the inaugural race series of its kind under the UCI, the Switzerland-based world governing body for sports cycling that oversees international competitive cycling events.

Carlo Fernan Villarica
Carlo Fernan Villarica

The first and only Asian leg in the 2022 UCI Gravel World Series attracted competitors from Europe and Asia. Participants powered through all the ascents, river crossings, water features and everything else that Bongabon’s legendary terrain put in front of them.

“This is a big boost for Bongabon as a destination for sports tourism,” Bongabon mayor Allan Gamilla said. “We hope to make use of the municipality’s potential to help promote the country and further establish it as major global hub for gravel riding.”

The age groups were 19-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 and 65-69. The course was 85km for cyclists 49 years old and younger and 62km for cyclists 50 years old and older.

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Villarica clocked 4:18:03.226. He finished 12th in the men’s 35-39 age group and 85th overall.

“There are things that I would like to have done better like maybe not go all out in the beginning because I was cramping in the middle but aside from that, it’s okay,” Villarica told me when I asked him if he was satisfied with his performance. “I’m not really hung up with the result.”

A total of 349 cyclists finished the race. Each qualifier was awarded with a finisher medal and 25 percent of each rider category earned a UCI qualifying medal and automatically made it to the UCI World Championships.

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From 1989 to 2001, Villarica attended Ateneo de Cebu in Cebu City. From 2001 to 2005, he went to the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines where he earned his bachelor’s degree in European studies.

Villarica and his wife Stephanie Rose Basubas Señires Villarica, 36, have two children together. She is Miss Cebu 2006 and was a Binibing Pilipinas 2009 candidate.

I interviewed Carlo right after he finished the 85km course of the 2022 UCI Gravel World Series Philippines in Bongabon. Here is my quick chat with him:

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