AIDAN James Mendoza of Go for Gold Continental team displayed kept up with the best in the international field and fell just short of a podium finish in the penultimate stage of the 2021 Tour of Thailand.
One of the youngest members of the delegation, Mendoza has been making heads turn as he holds his own against some of the Asian cycling circuit's best riders.
“Marami po natutuwa sa akin kasi ang bata ko raw po tapos ang liit pero pinapasakit ko ulo nila,” said Mendoza with a hearty laugh shortly after a fourth-place finish in the fiercely fought Stage 5 from Trang to Satun.
Mad dash to finish line
Mendoza was part of the mad dash to the finish with German rider Lucas Carstensen claiming his second straight stage win, and his third in total, with the fastest clocking of 3 hours, 27 minutes and 51 seconds, the same clocking as Ryan Jastrab (USA) , Wan Abdul Rahman Hamdan (Malaysia).
“Same clocking kami lahat kaso nauna sila. Mas beterano sila pero happy na po ako kasi kahit papaano namuntik muntikanan ko pa sila. Sayang nga po. Pero marami po akong natutunan,” said the Pangasinense rider.
“Magagamit ko to sa mg future races and bukas sa Stage 6, malay natin,” he added smiling.
Meanwhile, Mendoza’s Go for Gold squad retained the overall team leadership, still 2 seconds ahead of title favorite Terengganu of Malaysia.
“We can keep the team title. Need lang ulit sumunod mga bata sa game plan,” said Go for Hold coach Ednalyn Hualda who vowed to go all out in the Satun to Hat Yai final stage Monday.
“Kailangan po naming iuwi yung team title para magandang panimula dahil mahigit two years din kaming walang karera, but tuloy support sa amin ng Go for Gold, Scratch-It saka eSabong.com,” she added.