Reynante tops stage; Joven lead dwindles | Inquirer Sports
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Reynante tops stage; Joven lead dwindles

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 12:12 AM February 05, 2014

IN Amad race to the finish, Lloyd Reynante (second from left) beats out Junrey Navarra (left) and Jeroen Breewel. ROMY HOMILLADA

LUCENA CITY—Veteran racer Lloyd Reynante led a tight sprint to the finish to seize Stage 4 while Cris Joven of 7-Eleven Continental Cycling Team nearly lost his grip of the overall lead after Tuesday’s Ronda Pilipinas 2014.

Reynante, who rides for Philippine Navy Standard Insurance, burst out of the speeding pack in the last 300 meters to capture a leg in local cycling’s showcase race.

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Out of the podium picture for so long, the 35-year-old completed the rough 110-kilometer course from San Pablo City, Laguna, in two hours, 43 minutes and 35 seconds for his first stage victory in three years.

“I was lucky. I just saw an open lane and lunged toward it,” said Reynante, son of two-time Tour champion Maui.

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Jeroen Breewel of Dutch Global Cycling Team checked in second and Junrey Navarra of PLDT Maynilad placed third with a similar clocking as Reynante, who clenched his fist as he crossed the finish line.

His hold of the overall lead on shaky ground, Joven gritted it all the way to stay in red for the third consecutive day after finishing just a minute behind Reynante along with a large wave of riders.

French climber Peter Pouly threatened to take away Joven’s red shirt after the Infinite Singha leader launched an early attack. “I never expected the attack will come early.

We were forced to chase him all the way,” said Joven, a perennial tour contender.

Approaching the first climb of the day 44 km from the start, Pouly escaped from the peloton with seven other riders—Spaniard Edgar Nieto, Ronald Lomotos, Danish John Ebsen, Santy Barnachea, Navarra, Breewel and Reynante—in Caliraya, Laguna.

The head pack pedaled hard near the shores of Lake Caliraya and kept a two-minute advantage from the chase group featuring 7-Eleven’s Mark Galedo and Joven on the next ascent in Luisiana town that offered a majestic view of Mount Banahaw.

Joven and the riders in the second group were able to close the gap as the lead pack sprinted against the wind on a long descent in the towns of Lucban and Sariaya going here.

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None of the contenders lost any significant amount of time with Joven still ahead of Riemon Lapaza of Cycleline Butuan Mindanao by two seconds.

At third was Pouly, who cut the gap to 41 seconds after starting the day at 1:35 behind. Only two foreigners remained in the top 10.

Oscar Rindole stayed at fourth overall, 3:20 back, Santy Barnachea rose from eighth to fifth (3:41 behind) followed by Road Bike’s Felipe Marcelo (3:44), Vicmar Vicente of Cycleline Butuan (3:52), Galedo (3:53), Japanese Daiki Yasuhara (4:32) and Ronald Oranza of PLDT Maynilad (4:38).

Bigger time gaps may begin to appear in today’s fifth stage, which features a super steep climb at the Atimonan Zigzag Park, popularly known as “Tatlong Eme,” near the finish of the 151.7-km leg that will start and end in this busy capital of Quezon province.

The Ronda, presented by LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation, NLEX, Petron, Standard Insurance, Mitsubishi and Air Asia, takes a day off Thursday as the race heads North to the provinces of Tarlac, Pangasinan and Benguet after a week-long trip in Southern Luzon.

Stage Individual Classification: 1. Reynante, Lloyd Lucien (PNS) 2:43:35; 2. Breewel, Jeroen (DGT) same time; 3. Navarra, Junrey (PMP) same time; 4. Lomotos, Ronald (PMP) same time; 5. Nieto, Edgar (RBP) same time; 6. Ebsen, John (CCN) same time; 7. Pouly, Peter (ISC) same time; 8. Barnachea, Santy (PNS) 0:06; 9. Jae Yeon-im (UJB) 0:54; 10. Oledan, Tots (CBM) same time

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TAGS: Cris Joven, Jeroen Breewel, Lloyd Reynante, Ronda Pilipinas, Santy Barnachea
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