Asia

Cycleline Butuan’s Riemon Lapaza wins 2022 UCI Gravel World Series Philippines in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija

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Riemon Lapaza, 35, of Butuan, Philippines was one of the winners of the 2022 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Gravel World Series Philippines race. He is from Cycleline Butuan.

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.

UCI Gravel World Series Philippines 2022
UCI Gravel World Series Philippines 2022

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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Lapaza clocked 3:06:46.7, the fastest time not only in the men’s 35-39 age group but also overall. Including the Butuan native, a total of 349 cyclists finished the race.

Team Franzia’s Teotimo Santos ranked second in the men’s 35-39 age group. He clocked 3:22:23.129.

Including Lapaza and Santos, 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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Born and raised in Butuan, Lapaza attended Agusan National High School and Caraga State University, which are both in Butuan. He worked as a motorcycle mechanic.

On February 16, 2014, Lapaza won Ronda Pilipinas International 2014 in Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines. He finished the 2,000-km 14-stage race in 45 hours, 41 minutes and 33 seconds.

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