YOUNG blood Dave Montemayor reigned supreme over a bevy of elite counterparts in the Black Mamba Cross Country Race over the weekend at the Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal.

The 22-year-old mountain bike rider endured the challenging terrain in the famed Rizal cross-country trail for the win in the 30K distance category of the event that also featured 10K for beginners.

Mr. Montemayor is hoping for his win to boost his bid to make the national cycling team someday with a focus for now to train harder by the help of his winnings from the Black Mamba racing tilt backed by San Mateo local government unit (LGU) under Mayor Omie Rivera.

National team campaigner Shagne Yao also graced the event as she gears up for an anticipated tough campaign in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games this May in Cambodia.

“This race is perfect for my endurance building and a gauge of my fitness level as I prepare for the SEA Games. The course is perfect for testing my speed and handling the technical climbs,” she said.

Other winners, powered by Black Mamba energy drink that made them surpass their limits in the tough race, in different categories were recognized prizes and commemorative trophies to mark their achievements.

Black Mamba said the event was a resounding success as the participants and their supporters also got to witness the picturesque beauty of the San Mateo mountain trails that made the races even better.

“We’re thrilled with how well the Black Mamba Cross Country Race went this year. We had an incredible turnout, and all participants did an amazing job on the course. We’re already looking forward to the next event of Black Mamba and we can’t wait to see what new challenges the course will bring,” said Gilbert Oliva of Black Mamba.

“The course was challenging, featuring steep climbs and slopes, and fast trail tracks but all racers were up to the challenge, pushing themselves to the limit and testing their endurance powered by Black Mamba energy drink at our aid stations and sumptuous servings of local food served by locals of San Mateo,” added Jayson Gabrinao, the course builder and event race director. — John Bryan Ulanday