Quitoy tops stage on borrowed bike
TAGAYTAY CITY—He didn’t even own the bike he’s using. On Monday, though, Roel Quitoy finally hit paydirt and claimed a stage win.
Quitoy, a 25-year-old bike mechanic from Zamboanga City who is seeing action in the LBC Ronda Pilipinas for only the second time, ruled the gruelling 10th Stage that ended here.
His victory came with a little help from overall leader Jan Paul Morales, who did not contest the stage victory and the P20,000 cash prize with Quitoy.
“He deserves it, he’s very tough,” said Morales, the Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance skipper who padded his lead over teammate Rudy Roque to four minutes and 26 seconds after finishing second in the stage.
Married with two kids, Quitoy of Team Mindanao broke his low-end steel bike worth P15,000 during the Subic stage. His sponsor, Mike Tan, stepped in and loaned him a carbon-alloy bike worth P100,000.
Quitoy, whose father Romeo used to compete in the Marlboro Tour in the 1990s, posted his previous best in Ronda two years ago when he placed third in an Individual Time Trial.
After breaking away from the main pack, Morales found Quitoy breathing down his neck at the foot of an uphill climb, 30 kilometers from the finish.
“He (Morales) told me to just keep it up so the second group wouldn’t catch up with us,” said Quitoy, who rose to 19th place overall, 29 minutes off Morales.
“I told him, ‘Let’s help each other,’” said Morales.