BAGUIO CITY—A virtually unknown Junrey Navarra swept into the limelight by dominating the most dreaded stage of the 2013 Ronda Pilipinas yesterday.
The 20-year-old rookie from Team Mindanao/Cycle Line Butuan ruled Stage 14 and became the new King of the Mountain on a breezy day that saw overall leader Ronald Oranza retain the red jersey after surviving a minor crash and the relentless attack of his main rivals.
Navarra pulled off a solo breakaway and sustained it, checking home in four hours, 44 minutes and 17 seconds at the end of the 133.5-km trek from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya that cut through the heart of the Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountain ranges.
Philippine Navy’s Asto Daniel nosed out Baler Ravina of Road Bike for second place, finishing 5:47 behind the lap winner, before Oranza and the other contenders checked in less than a minute later.
“I patiently waited for this stage. Nobody knew me so I took advantage of it,” said Navarra in Filipino after stripping LPGMA-American Vinyl’s Irish Valenzuela of the KOM crown.
Navarra impressively scaled four KOM summits, including the toughest climb of the day—a 19-km stretch of sharp ascending curves entering the City of Pines—nine kilometers to the finish.
With Oranza crossing the payoff line in the same bunch as Santy Barnachea of Philippine Navy, Valenzuela and Ronald Gorantes of Road Bike Philippines and PLDT/Spyder teammate El Joshua Cariño, the top five of the individual standings hardly moved at all.
Overall, Oranza maintained his three-second edge over Barnachea with Valenzuela trailing by 33 seconds in third going into today’s 34-km individual time trial from Pugo, La Union to Burnham Park here.
Oranza survived a crash some 30kms from the finish that left him badly bruised in his left leg.
Stage individual classification:
1. Navarra, Junrey (TMC) 4:44:17, 2. Asto, Daniel (PNS) 5:47, 3. Ravina, Jonipher (RPR) same time, 4. Oranza, Ronald (PDT) 6:22, 5. Gorantes, Ronald (RPR) same time, 6. Galedo, Mark (RPR) same time, 7. Carino, El Joshua (PDT) same time, 8. Valenzuela, Irish (AVL) same time, 9. Barnachea, Santy (PNS) same time, 10. Hualda, Ronnel (RPR) 7:39, 11. Felipe, Marcelo (VMS) 7:43, 12. Cayubit, Butch Ryan (TMM) 8:18, 13. Lim, Rustom (PDT) 8:28, 14. Reynante, Lloyd (PNS) 9:34, 15. Calderon, Joel (VMS) 9:34, 16. Gorantes, Reinhard (PNS) 9:41, 17. Martin, Rey (VMS) same time, 18. Atilano, Emelito (YFM) 11:42, 19. Oconer, George (PNS) 11:45, 20. Navarro, Reynaldo (HIP) same time.