Lampawog wins Stage 8, Morales new Ronda leader
— Marc Anthony Reyes (@marcreyesINQ) February 17, 2017
UNISAN, Quezon — Nineteen-year-old Jay Lampawog thundered solo to the finish line even as Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance teammate Jan Paul Morales snatched the red jersey Friday in the LBC Ronda Pilipinas Eighth Stage here.
Winner of last year’s Best Young Rider, the Villasis, Pangasinan native finished the stage in four hours, 29 minutes and 29 seconds to the applause of the crowd in this laidback, Spanish-era coastal town by Tayabas Bay.
Second-running Morales checked in 1:10 later bunched with Jaybop Pagnanawon of Bike Xtreme, Jonel Carcueva of Go For Gold, Bryant Sepnio of Go For Gold, Reynaldo Navaro of Kinetix Lab-Army and Jigo Mendoza of Go for Gold.
It was the first stage victory for Lampawog, who said he was tasked to boost his campaign for the Best Young Rider where he is now third overall, 4:14 behind leader Carcueva.
Yet, the big story was Morales’ display of power and grit considering that he captured the 227-kilometer seventh stage in Daet, Camarines Norte. “Nobody can catch me uphill,” said the 31-year-old Morales in Filipino.
He stripped overall leadership from teammate Rudy Roque, who is now 1:53 behind after the 180-km stage. Another Navy, Ronald Lomotos occupied the third overall (4:14 behind), while Carcueva jumped from 10th to fourth (5:03). Kinetix Lab-Army’s Cris Joven is fifth (5:08).