Ronald Lomotos of LBC-MVP Sports Foundation Cycling Pilipinas cruised with the peloton yesterday to keep his overall bid going after Stage 3 of the Tour de Borneo 2013 in Sabah, Malaysia.
The Filipino sprint specialist floated with a huge group of riders along with the contenders throughout the 132.6-kilometer route from Penampang to Kota Kinabalu to remain third in the individual classification with two stages left in the Union Cycliste Internationale-sanctioned race.
Malaysian Mohd Hariff Saleh of Terengganu Cycling Team ruled the mass sprint finish in three hours, 20 minutes and 39 seconds over Baku Cycling Project’s Anuar Manan of Malaysia and Zamri Mohd Salleg of Terengganu. Lomotos was ranked 16th with the same time.
Overall, Iranian Mehdi Sohrabi of Tabriz Petrochemical Team stayed ahead by three seconds over Stage 1 winner Paul Van der Ploeg of TCO and eight seconds in front of Lomotos, who moved up to third overall after placing second in the second stage.
Sohrabi, who won the 189.2-km ride from Tanjung Aru to Papar in Stage 2, failed to increase his lead after several attacks to break away from the speeding pack fizzled out.
Also giving the Filipinos something to crow about was Rustom Lim, who grabbed one of two intermediate sprints to jump to eighth overall, just 11 seconds behind Sohrabi.
The time trialist from LBC-MVP Sports Foundation Cycling Pilipinas ruled the second high-velocity chase of the day on a largely flat 86.9-km stretch in Berungis.
Two-time Philippine Tour champion Mark Galedo of 7-Eleven/RoadBike Philippines and Ronald Oranza of LBC-MVPSF were seventh and 10th overall, also 11 seconds back.
Climber Junrey Navarra of LBC-MVPSF lost the King of the Mountain red jersey to Indonesian Endra Wijaya of Custom Cycling Club, who captured the summit of the only KOM in the stage in Tamparuli.
Wijaya and Navarra were tied with four KOM points along with Singaporean Loh Sea Keong of TSI and Indonesian Ali Shahbana Agung of Custom Cycling Club.