Two-time Tour champion Mark Galedo of 7-Eleven/Roadbike Philippines conquered the grueling climbs on Mt. Kinabalu to emerge the sturdiest among Filipino riders yesterday in Stage 4 of the Tour de Borneo 2013 in Sabah, Malaysia.
Last year’s Ronda Pilipinas winner completed the uphill 147.1-kilometer trek from Kota Kinabalu to Kundasang in four hours and 44 minutes to finish 10th for the day, 12:09 off stage winner and new overall leader Ghader Iranagh Mizbani of Tabriz Petrochemical.
Mizbani, the reigning Le Tour de Filipinas champion, nipped teammate Mirsamad Pourseyedigolakhour for stage honors and seized the Tour lead from Iranian teammate Mehdi Sohrabi as the standings took a massive shakeup.
Despite Galedo’s performance on Borneo’s highest peak, the top Filipino rider slipped from seventh to 10th overall after the penultimate lap of the five-day race sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale. Galedo now stood 12 minutes 18 seconds behind Mizbani.
Junrey Navarra of LBC-MVP Sports Foundation Cycling Pilipinas, a tenacious climber like Galedo, was the second best Filipino rider after placing 14th in the lap, 15:39 behind.
The cycling discovery from Davao was 14th overall, 15:52 behind Mizbani, who topped a pair of King of the Mountain challenges for the day to end Navarra’s two-day hold on the KOM red jersey.
Overall, Mizbani led Pourseyedigolakhour by five seconds, Joseph Cooper of Huon Genesys Pro Cycling by 6:34 and Erle Nathan of HCPC by 9:09.
Ronald Lomotos, Navarra’s teammate at LBC-MVPSF, also suffered a huge blow after a promising start. He finished 55th yesterday and bombed out of the title race after starting the day at third overall. June Navarro