Rick Nobel, 27, of Zeewolde, Flevoland, Netherlands was one of the winners of the 2022 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Gravel World Series Philippines race. The Dutch cyclist, who works as a diplomat, is from Eurocyclingtrips Pro Cycling Team.
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.
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.
Nobel clocked 3:11:38.131, the fastest time in the men’s 19-34 age group. He finished second overall next to Riemon Lapaza, 35, of Butuan, Philippines.
In the men’s 19-34 age group, Mervin Rencel Santiago of Valenzuela City, Metro Manila, Philippines and Jarwyn Omaging Banatao of Baguio City, Philippines finished second and third, respectively. They clocked 3:11:47.808 and 3:11:48.097, respectively.
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.
Since July 2021, Nobel has been based in New Delhi, Delhi, India where he works as an agricultural attaché for the Netherlands’ embassy in India. He earned his bachelor’s degree in humanities and African affairs from the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 2015 and his master’s degree in international relations and international organization from the University of Groningen in Groningen, Netherlands in 2019.
In 2018, Nobel first third at Tour du Senegal, fourth at Tour du Faso and eighth at Tour International des Zibans. In 2018, he finished eighth at Tour of Kosovo.