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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Results:Men Open Category
1st place: Kimi Grande
2nd place: Nilo Estayo
3rd place: Bans MendozaE-Bike Category
1st place: Miko Montano
2nd place: Jayson Calimlim
3rd place: Arlan dela CruzMen 50 and up Category
1st place: Ronaldo Ortiz
2nd place: Ralph Lorenzo
3rd place: Guy WeglewskiMen 40 and up Category
1st place: Clinton Li Chuan
2nd place: Edrie Ocampo
3rd place: Epi CruzMen 30 and up Category
1st place: Iztok Slapnik
2nd place: Adrian Nino Villanueva
3rd place: Nikko EnriquezMen 20 and up Category
1st place: Yiel Leong
2nd place: Dustin Pedro
3rd place: Kevin CariasoMen 19 and below Category
1st place: Hugh Exequiel de Lansig
2nd place: Miguel Paulo Custodio
3rd place: Josh RafaelWomen Open Category
1st place: Joyce del Socorro