REX Luis Krog bagged the Men Junior silver medal of road race in the Asian Cycling Championships on Saturday in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.
Krog, who will turn 18 on May 14, clocked two hours, 32 minutes and 49 seconds, finishing 11 seconds behind breakaway partners Taisei Hino of Japan and (2:32:38) and 12 seconds ahead of Wachirawit Saenkhamwong (2:33:01).
It was the Philippines’ first Asian championships medal since Rustom Lim’s bronze also in road race in 2011 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
The start list consisted of 43 of the most promising cyclists in the continent with Krog and his coach, Ednalyn Calitis Hualda, proving that cycling, among others, is not a battle of brute strength and stamina, but also more of a scientific approach suited to the rider and the route.
A natural climber, Krog, who traces his roots to cycling hotbed Nueva Ecija and now resides in Caloocan, was instructed to shift to a heavier gear, and Philcycling ended a seven-year medal drought in the continental championships.
“The instruction was for Luis [Krog] to shift to a higher gear, a strategy we mapped on the eve of the race,” Hualda said. “And the second was for him to stay with the pack and make a final push in the last five kilometers.”
Krog did just that and with Hino and Saenkhamwong initiating a three-man breakaway in the final five kilometers, the Filipino avoided a bunch finish where he will be disadvantaged against the mostly sprinters in the race that featured riders aged 17 and 18.
“Sinunod ko lang ho ang game plan,” said Krog, who rides for Team Go For Gold. “Sumabay ako sa grupo at medyo nagkaroon din ako ng duda na ma-sustain ko ang laro ko. Pero sa huli, binuhos ko na lahat.”