Gazalkent, Uzbekistan—Having recovered from racing in adverse conditions, Marc Ryan Lago and Daniel Ven Cariño on Thursday tried to look prime to ride their bikes anew in what could be another day of extreme cold and rain in the 2019 at the Asian Cycling Championships.
But young as they are—Lago is 18 and Cariño 21—they sounded apologetic for missing the podium in the individual time trial (ITT) of the road championships that lured entries from 31 countries, one of the biggest in the ACC, on Wednesday.
“I gave everything I got, yet it wasn’t enough,” said Lago, who finished fifth among 13 entries in the Men Junior (18-under) ITT, his first international stint.
Cariño, who has raced overseas at least thrice in his young career as member of 7-Eleven Roadbike Philippines and now Go For Gold continental teams, wound up 15th in the 18-cyclist race for athletes aged 22 or younger.
“Like Marc, I tried to fight the cold, but it was too difficult to bear,” Cariño said.
Lago raced at 1 p.m. (3 p.m. in Manila) and the temperature at the flat venue—in the middle of a long expressway unprotected by trees or mountains—was 11 degrees Centigrade.
When it was Cariño’s turn to ride two hours later, the temperature dropped to 9 degrees.
Making it worse for the Filipinos was the rain that fell incessantly, making it difficult for the team, sent here by the PhilCycling and bankrolled by Go For Gold, to contend with opponents who were born and raised in countries with similar Uzbek climate.
To ease the riders from the cold and rain, they had to be doused in baby oil and petroleum jelly and had plastic bags inserted between their jerseys and bodies. Thermal suits were not allowed under cycling regulations.
Yet on Friday, Lago and Cariño will again put their young bodies to a tough test in the massed start races that are expected to be contested under the same chilly and wet conditions.
Lago, Efren Reyes Jr. (18) and Ean Cajucom (17) will campaign in the 105.6-km Men Junior road race at 11 a.m. (2 p.m. in Manila), while Cariño, Ismael Gorospe Jr., Joshua Mari Bonifacio and Jerico Lucero will vie in the 105.6-km Men Junior competition at 3 p.m.