Repost from WasalakBatangas:
Whenever I get to see a VG & GE cyclist riding his roadbike alone on the road in a rather sunny late weekend morning, I feel kinda envious. What do I envy about this sweaty, exhausted cyclist? You may ask? It’s the PASSION… the burning love for the stuff that he does. In this case, cycling.
|VG & GE Cycling Team (Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas)
VG & GE Cycling Team has been here since 2004. This is a Batangas City-based team that competes locally and abroad, composed mostly of Batanguenyo men (and teenagers) who can never get enough of their roadbikes (he-he, peace brothers!)
I met these guys back in 2011 at the Tour of Matabungkay (Batangas’ largest annual executive cycling event) in Matabungkay Beach Hotel (Lian, Batangas) when I was assigned to cover the race for the radio. And I became an instant fan since then, knowing that they are the only Batanguenyo team that would race there (not that I know of). They were cool nice guys, all smiling despite the pressure that was on them that morning on the first day of the race. Surprising enough, during the awarding/concluding ceremony on the 3rd day, several medals and awards were capped by these awesome Batangas City riders. I was awed. I was proud. We, Batanguenyos, can really be this good in this sport, mind you. And it was well-proven by the VG &GE Cycling team.
|VG & GE Cycling in action!
By the way, VG & GE is actually a medical equipment trading firm lead by Mr. Von Ongkiatco who happened to be a hardcore cycling enthusiast and so, that explains it how VG & GE Cycling came to be. Once upon a time, father (Von) and son (Gino) tried joining local races as a type of bonding or let’s say a rather expensive hobby. It turned out that they did enjoy it so much and so they started recruiting strong Batanguenyo cycling enthusiasts to complete the formidable line-up that is VG & GE Cycling now. And the rest was history. They got addicted competing after their first shares of victory from local and international racing events in the late 2000 and they have been competing since. Both for the prestige, the thrill and extreme adrenaline rush, and for the deep love for this great team sports.
I asked Mr. Ongkiatco before, how they were able to form the team. He said they have like a couple of racing events where they screen the best riders in Batangas City. Eventually, their efforts paid off. They were able to produce the toughest young-bloods of the sport in the city. Most of these kids even top a couple of races they’ve joined.
What’s their secret? Aside from their burning passion for cycling, they have this well-known “secret” for winning numerous awards in competitions. They actually have a headquarters in Mt. Banoy (somewhere in Batangas City) where they stay for a couple of weeks (or months) to master their craft. More like a mountain traning camp. This is the place where they conduct living-in training before they go for races. Mt. Banoy has a 7-km lap with a 3-km heart-pounding climb and a 4-km downhill trail. This is the route that reinforce their skills and made them physically fit for races that they participated to. That explains pretty well how they proved mighty over their opponents when they scale down the knee-breaking uphill Payapa-Lemery leg of the Tour of Matabungkay.
This coming august 15 to 17, they will race in Malaysia for the ASEAN Championships 2014. I know these guys are really up for the big win in this international arena side by side with the biggest riders in the region. I’m telling you, you will be getting lots of these VG & GE guys around your barangay roads and highways riding their trusty bikes, doing long rides for practice. So take note of these VG & GE jerseys. Don’t be shy to hand over a cold bottle of water (or ice tubig) when they happen to pass by your place. 🙂
PS: Oh, they’re not only cyclists. I was also able to make them join in a triathlon event in Lemery, Batangas last year. They hated it, and realized they were born hardcore riders not triathletes (LOL). Thanks a lot to Mr. Von Ongkiatco and Gino, Mr. Aldrin Marasigan, Chris Lobaton, Jawie, Arnold and the rest of the guys in the VG & GE Team… Batangas province is very proud of you. We wish you the best!
|Godspeed VG & GE Cycling Team to your ASEAN race campaign!
Wanna know how serious they are with their bike-riding? Here’s a partial list of their past conquests:
Annual Tour of Matabungkay (Lian, Batangas)
Filinvest 12 Hours Endurance Race
Rebolusyon Sa Cavite- Pilipinas Cycling League Tour of Cavite
Mayor Umali XC Cup (Tiaong)
EarthFest Filinvest Alabang
PCL Eagleridge Cycling Classic
Montalban, Rizal MTB Challenge
Vuelta Sta. Elena (Laguna)
PCL Immuvit Tour Of Clark
Adrenalin Rush 1 of Green Planet
Philcycling Tour of Batangas
Adrenalin Rush of Greenplanet (Laiya, San Juan)
Gov. Vilma Santos Recto Cup
Photos from VG & GE Facebook (with permission from team owner Mr. Von Ongkiatco)