Joven rules hilly Ronda stage 4
SUBIC BAY–Cris Joven pedaled hard in a wild bunch sprint finish to seize Thursday’s hilly fourth stage of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2017.
Joven, team captain of Kinetix Lab-Philippine Army, nosed out defending champion Jan Paul Morales and Ryan Serapio of Ilocos Sur at the line after the 111-kilometer trek that began and ended in this former US naval base.
”I gave it all during the final stretch. I’m beginning to get my racing legs back in top condition,” said Joven after his first stage win in the 14-leg bikathon.
The 30-year-old Joven arrived in two hours, 40 minutes and six seconds along with a huge wave of riders including double-stage winner Morales of Navy-Standard Insurance and Serapio.
Navy’s Rudy Roque kept the crimson red jersey of leadership for the fourth straight stage after floating with the peloton but saw his lead diminish as Morales moved up to second overall in the general classification.
Morales, who won the second and third stage, is now 1:30 behind Roque while Navy teammate Ronald Lomotos slipped the third overall, 2:18 back.
The Ronda takes a two-day respite before the riders negotiate the longest trip on the Tour on Saturday, a 251km race from Lucena City to Pili, Camarines Sur.