Latest Stories

Fighting Irish is Ronda champ

Latest Bicol hero wins P1M; Road Bike tops team derby


Irish Valenzuela.

BAGUIO CITY—Falling short in his previous attempt by a mere 33 seconds, Irish Valenzuela yesterday formalized his enthronement in the pantheon of Filipino cycling heroes.

The LPGMA-American Vinyl team skipper set aside the disappointment of a runner-up finish last year to finally stand tallest on the podium as champion of the 2013 Ronda Pilipinas.

Valenzuela affirmed his status as the country’s fiercest mountain demon with an overpowering performance in Thursday’s individual time trial, for all intents and purposes the last competitive leg of the 16-stage bikathon.

After blowing his chief rivals apart in the race against the clock, Valenzuela tabbed his maiden Tour victory by finishing just behind the peloton in yesterday’s final stage—a 67.5-kilometer criterium in the city’s main thoroughfares.

“I still can’t believe it,” said the 25-year-old rider from Tabaco City, Albay, in Filipino. “Our team got depleted by sicknesses and injuries but I still managed to pull through.”

Track specialist Jan Paul Morales of Philippine Navy capped local cycling’s most gruelling bikathon with a Stage 16 victory, drawing the curtains on the third Ronda edition that was flagged off in the Zamboanga Peninsula, cut across Cebu, reached the northern tip of Luzon and ended in this nippy City of Pines.

Morales clinched his second stage victory of the Tour in one hour, 43 minutes and 47 seconds.

Jerry Aquino Jr. placed second with his Road Bike Philippines teammate Ronnel Hualda grabbing third.

Valenzuela was cheered lustily by a massive Burnham Park crowd who came over to witness his coronation and celebrate the start of the Panagbenga Festival.

The Bicolano ace—Ronda’s King of the Mountain in 2010 and 2011 who also counts victories in the 2008 Manila-to-Baguio race and 2010 Tour of Camsur— pocketed a cool P1 million for his victory.

“This is a dream come true,” said Valenzuela, the first Tour winner from Bicol since 1995, the year LPGMA coach Renato Dolosa of Gubat, Sorsogon, tabbed his second Tour triumph. “Thank you for the support of all who believed in me.”

For his performance, Valenzuela earned a scholarship from Liquigaz, a top Tour de France team. LPGMA owner Arnel Ty said that Valenzuela would train with Liquigaz’s Pool B riders in Europe for three months early next year.

“The race there is faster and the riders stronger,” said Valenzuela, who lost the title last year to Road Bike’s Mark Galedo by 33 seconds. “It’s a big break for me.”

Valenzuela compiled a total clocking of 55:18:52—1 minute and 57 seconds clear of second placer Ronald Gorantes of Road Bike and 2:08 ahead of PLDT/Spyder’s Ronald Oranza, the 20-year-old rider from Villasis, Pangasinan who held the red jersey of leadership for five stages before Valenzuela snatched it in the ITT.

Santy Barnachea of Navy wound up third, 4:28 behind Valenzuela, PLDT’s El Joshua Cariño was fifth (7:33), and Galedo, last year’s champion, was sixth (14:40). They were followed by Navarra (18:19 behind), V-Mobile’s Joel Calderon (20:48), LPGMA’s Cris Joven (20:57) and George Oconer of Navy (24:35).

Gorantes pocketed P500,000 while Oranza, the Tour’s best young rider, pocketed P250,000 in the 23-day race, which plans to go international next year, according to Fernando Araneta, the president of chief Tour sponsor LBC Express.

Team Mindanao’s Junrey Navarra, the winner of the most punishing leg of the Ronda from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, to this city, was crowned the new KOM. Hualda was named Sprint King.

In the team race, Road Bike Philippines of engineer Bong Sual seized the title and the P1-million prize over Philippine Navy (1:59 behind) and PLDT/Spyder (2:55).

Stage individual classification: 1. Morales, J. P. (PNS) 1:43:47, 2. Aquino Jr., J. (RPR) same time, 3. Hualda, R. (RPR) same time, 4. Bonzo, M. J. (PDT) same time, 5. Reynante, L. (PNS) same time, 6. Ramos, M. (TTC) same time, 7. Oconer, G. (PNS) same time, 8. Aleonar, M. (TMC) same time, 9. Pablo, F. (HIP) same time, 10. Oranza, R. (PDT) same time, 11. Callorina, J. (TEN) same time, 12. Pagnanawon, J. (YFM) same time, 13. Oledan, T. (TMC) same time, 14. Millanes, J. (TTC) same time, 15. Catalan, A. (RPR) same time, 16. Joven, C. (AVL) same time, 17. Mangahis, N. (TMM) same time, 18. Lim, R. (PDT) same time, 19. Atilano, E. (YFM) same time, 20. Cayubit, B. (TMM) same time

Overall individual classification (11th to 20th): 11. Reynante, L. (PNS) 25:35, 12. Gorantes, R. (PNS) 27:09, 13. Asto, D. (PNS) 28:01, 14. Ravina, J. (RPR) 28:17, 15. Atilano, E. (YFM) 31:17, 16. Lim, R. (PDT) 35:01, 17. Millanes, J. (TTC) 39:29, 18. Ramos, M. (TTC) 40:27, 19. Martinez, T. (TTC) 41:54, 20. Navarro, R. (HIP) 43:44

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 Ronda Pilipinas , Cycling , Irish Valenzuela , Ronda , Ronda Pilipinas

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5W2TQ7Z5XJTZRYC6N5LP7RT2D4 Dante

    Disgusting and disgaceful! A PLDT rider shown and captioned as Irish Valenzuela? Aren’t you people ‘reading’ your own story before publishing? And Santy Barnachea as ‘third’? C’mon Inquirer, you can do better than this!

    • http://www.ksdibahrain.com Benelinda Cariño

      Yes, they are funny, that was my brother el Joshua Carino who belonged to a PLDT and landed as top 5 over-all. Was the writer, the lay-out artist or the proof reader’s fault? 

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  2. Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  3. Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  4. Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
  5. Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  6. Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  7. After Pacquiao, BIR chief Henares runs after boxing fans
  8. My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  9. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley
  10. Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  1. ‘Mommy D’ steals show as son fights
  2. Pacquiao wins unanimous decision vs Bradley to reclaim WBO title
  3. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
  4. Manny Pacquiao: I’ll have everything back
  5. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley
  6. Pacquiao punching power ‘way harder’ in first fight—Bradley
  7. Wrestling star Ultimate Warrior’s cause of death revealed
  8. My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  9. Pacquiao ‘strong, faster’ for tiff
  10. Bradley to Pacquiao: You better be ready
  1. ‘Mommy D’ steals show as son fights
  2. Pacquiao wins unanimous decision vs Bradley to reclaim WBO title
  3. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
  4. Mayweather surprise visitor to Bradley camp
  5. Bradley won’t last distance– Peñalosa
  6. Manny Pacquiao: I’ll have everything back
  7. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley
  8. Pacquiao punching power ‘way harder’ in first fight—Bradley
  9. Wrestling star Ultimate Warrior’s cause of death revealed
  10. Tapering off: Pacquiao already at 147 lb


  • US urges Myanmar to ease tensions
  • Little known jihadist group vows new Egypt attacks
  • Chelsea Clinton pregnancy
  • Call for sanctions against N. Korea over abuses
  • Pope washes feet of disabled, including elderly Muslim
  • Sports

  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Vietnam pulls out of hosting Asian Games due to lack of funds
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • Business

  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • US stocks end mostly higher after earnings deluge
  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace