Race Report: The Tarlac Enduro Attack 6 - Monasterio de Tarla, Philippines

Jan 20, 2020
by TheFlyingLandWalrus  

Monasterio de Tarlac, a pilgrimage site 3 hours north of Manila, hosted the 6th installment of the Tarlac Enduro Attack presented by Specialized PH and Fox Philippines. 160 riders made the trip north to experience the unique trails that the town of San Jose, Tarlac had to offer.

Three special stages awaited the racers with one major change compared to last year’s format: no shuttle support for all liaison stages. Bringing back the Endurance to Enduro is what the local crew promised.

The view from the top. A great way to start the day.

Father and Son tandem of Maurie and Edrie Ocampo. No race, or more importantly, sumptuous roasted pig would be possible without this dynamic duo.

A first for everything: an E-Bike Category for an enduro race in the PH.

Tarlac boasts amazing trails and local community support made possible by having a town mayor who’s an accomplished rider himself (EWS race under his belt) and is as passionate about building trails as he is riding them.

GGG Bikeshop Special Stage 1, the longest of them all, gave riders a taste of what was to come. It started off with a loose sweeping left hander, which then led to a narrow bench cut single track with off camber corners to boot. A couple of inches to either side and you’re in for a (quick) fall to the creek bed below. Just as the racers got used to the width (or lack thereof) of the track, they were then greeted by root infested g-outs that test one’s braking skills. Use too much and you won’t make the climb. Use too little, and down you go back to the ravine on the other side. The stage ended with a 100m flat dirt road sprint to the finish line.

One of the OG’s of the PH gravity scene, Bans Mendoza, showing them youngins’ how its done.

Ronald “Ulul” Dela Rosa, being his usual self, blowing a bunch of hot air towards the best of the young bloods, eventual Men's Open/Elite Champion Kimi “Boom’s Baby” Grande

Double Vision: Michael “Terno” Custodio sliding on the sidelines as Christian “Stagedaddy” Menciano slips himself on the first corner of Special Stage 1. People say it was staged — both just brushed those people off as “haters”.

MTB Tarlac’s main man Edrie Ocampo is no slouch himself placing 2nd in the 40-49 category, just a mere second behind first place.

Christopher Quizon making sure no pennies are left uncollected at Special Stage 1.

Narrow and twisty G-Outs are littered throughout all the stages. Miss the main line and you’ll be walking up and down these features as much as a middle-aged lady on her Stairmaster a week before her high school reunion.

The 40-49 crew taking a quick break from the midday heat before the punishing liaison back to Special Stage 3. Good news is that Ronald “Ulul” Dela Rosa did not experience severe palpitation during the duration of the race. It is worth noting that Leopoldo Ocampo was nowhere within 150 kms of the event.

DH bike, fingerless gloves, amber wheel reflectors and white underpants. An assured combination for success.

Wheel Works Special Stage 2 picked up where the first stage left off, with even narrower tracks and its own series of g-outs. It added its own flavor of off camber turns and steep chutes through the bamboo forest. Miss your braking point and you’ll be wishing you didn’t watch that 80's B-Class Horror movie about men being skewered by Amazonian Cannibals as a kid. Calling Stage 2 the most technical of the race would be an understatement.

Steep descents, loose punchy climbs, and thick foliage is plentiful in Special Stage 2.

Bike Pushing 101.

Tight tracks with almost no overtaking opportunities make for tight racing.

With great local community support, the possibilities are endless for biking trails in Tarlac.

Walken Special Stage 3 kicked off with the only man-made features of the race: a series of tight berms in front of the main cathedral leading onto the remainder of the track. While not as technical as the previous stage, Stage 3’s main offering was off camber lines and short max effort climbs. It’s the stage where those 40a durometer side knobs of your tires and 42-51t bailout gears get their money’s worth - you’re going to need them all the way to the finish line. Get lazy with your body english or miss a downshift, and you’ll be pushing your bike sooner than me gobbling up a serving of fatty beef at a BBQ Buffet.

The start of Walken Special Stage 3 gives churchgoers a glimpse of all the racing action.

Gamaliel “Kahiwalay” Leong with his game face on at SS3. We’ve only seen such razor sharp focus from him once before, in moderating his “Samahan ng Hiwalay sa Asawa” support group. The effort paid off as he clinched the top spot in the 20-29 category.

19 and Below Champion Quiel de Lansig rails a berm.

On-The-Spot Roasted Pork and Ice Cold Pilsen - no race should be without.

The local crew that made it all happen - MTB Tarlac

After 20 plus kilometers of racing, the riders were greeted with the PH Enduro Special: Roasted Pork and San Miguel Pale Pilsen. A fitting end to a grueling yet equally fun day in the mountains. Not everyone brought home trophies, but the experience is what made the event most memorable. Definitely one of the most well organized and generous events in recent memory.

Men’s Open/Elite Category Winners

Racing hardware.

It is amazing what a passionate group coupled with amazing local support can do. The quality of the trails and the event itself speaks volumes as to what the MTB Tarlac crew has achieved. I for one am personally thrilled about what’s in store for us in the future. With full time trail builders employed by the local government, the possibilities are endless as to what can be achieved here. The dream may finally be achieved - a world class bike park in the Philippines.


Men Open Category
1st place: Kimi Grande
2nd place: Nilo Estayo
3rd place: Bans Mendoza

E-Bike Category
1st place: Miko Montano
2nd place: Jayson Calimlim
3rd place: Arlan dela Cruz

Men 50 and up Category
1st place: Ronaldo Ortiz
2nd place: Ralph Lorenzo
3rd place: Guy Weglewski

Men 40 and up Category
1st place: Clinton Li Chuan
2nd place: Edrie Ocampo
3rd place: Epi Cruz

Men 30 and up Category
1st place: Iztok Slapnik
2nd place: Adrian Nino Villanueva
3rd place: Nikko Enriquez

Men 20 and up Category
1st place: Yiel Leong
2nd place: Dustin Pedro
3rd place: Kevin Cariaso

Men 19 and below Category
1st place: Hugh Exequiel de Lansig
2nd place: Miguel Paulo Custodio
3rd place: Josh Rafael

Women Open Category
1st place: Joyce del Socorro

Regions in Article


  • 2 0
 Kudos! Good to see enduro thriving here in the Philippines. Would love to see what the riding is like in other locales.
  • 2 0
 another tripple A out there (Amazing As Always), congrats Master Heckler and Ms. Isa!
  • 1 0
 Challenging but enjoyable tracks! Congratulation to my teamates ,participants and oganizer. This is Enduro!
  • 1 0
 Didn't know R-Dog was in the Philippines...
  • 1 0
 nice job as always!

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