Race for Mark Ylanan
ALLEZ - Jose Vicente ‘JV’ Araneta (The Freeman) - March 12, 2018 - 12:00am

I think that for those cyclists who have been joining local bicycle road racing and criteriums, knew  Mark Anthony Ylanan well. Mark had been marshaling majority of these cycling events. His ragtag but reliable crew was even tasked to help in the MTB event of the SEA Games held in Danao.

But unfortunately for Mark and the cycling community, and more importantly his family, he passed away just recently and now cycling must try to fit the large shoes that he left behind.

But what Mark did will not be forgotten. In fact, it will be celebrated this Sunday, March 18, with what else, but a road race. The Tour ni Frank, which was shelved upon the request of people who were thinking more of their own than the greater good, had its structure still in place but nowhere to go. So Frank decided that instead of celebrating Mark’s contribution to the TnF during the TnF, a one day race will instead be held in his honor.

The race will start at 8 a.m., at Mark’s residence, in Labangon, where Frank Gatdula, the man behind the TnF, will give a plaque of appreciation to Mark’s better half, Ellen. The registration and the distribution of the race numbers will also be done at the same place. From there, the peloton will proceed to JY Square in Lahug where the race will officially commence.

The race will end in a place we cyclist call as, “Greenhouse.” Weirdly, I never knew what the official name of that place is but it’s a permanent one story building without walls, more like an observatory. Just before “Greenhouse” are bunch of small fruit and vegetable stands.

The distance rom JY Square to Greenhouse, is about 20 kilometers, with a total elevation of 1,149 meters, that’s according to strava.com. The finish is right smack at the middle of the eastern and western sides of Cebu. The over a thousand meters of climbing is no joke and there is this particular segment, which I think is in the 1,500 meters from Greenhouse, which ramps up to more that 20 percent in gradient. So be prepared to walk, if you underestimate Greenhouse.

After the last rider will arrive, the peloton will turn around and ride towards Willy’s Store where refreshments, which will be followed the awarding ceremonies. Trophies and cash prizes will be given out. True to tradition, cycling goodies like tires tubes, jerseys an shoes will be raffled out to the participants of the event. And when all is said and done, the most important anticipated event will be next: “talking”!!!

It’d be a shame if you  missed this.

The Monuments: The first of the five cycling monuments for 2018 will be this held this Sunday (evening, our time). Milan-San Remo, 300 kilometers in all of its glory will open up the “real” classics season. Thus will be followed on Easter Sunday by the Tour of Flanders and a week later, the Hell of the North, Paris-Roubaix! Liege-Bastogne-Liege will be on April 22. The final monument, Il Lomrdia will held  at the tail-end of the cycling season, October 13.

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