Morales pedals way to London
There’s no hint that Jan Paul Morales of Standard Insurance would slow down anytime soon.
After capturing his second consecutive Ronda Pilipinas individual plum and a couple of competitive local races last year, Morales ruled the men’s elite road race of the Pru Ride Philippine National Cycling Championships over the weekend in Subic and Bataan.
Morales beat fellow Standard Insurance rider Ronald Oranza at the line in three hours, 42 minutes and 55 seconds after the punishing uphill route covering 137 kilometers to earn an all-expenses paid trip to the Pru Ride in London in July plus P50,000 in cash.
Marcelo Felipe of 7Eleven Cliqq Road Bike Philippines placed third.
Aside from Morales, businessman-sportsman and Standard Insurance chair Ernesto “Judes” Echauz also produced a pair of local champions in top-caliber runner Joey delos Reyes in duathlon and long-distance triathlon champion Monica Torres last year.
The 31-year-old Morales ruled the Ontario California Criterium Race in the United States, while emerging champion in the elite division of the 3rd Road Bike Philippines Sual Cycling Challenge in Pangasinan in May.
“I can never accomplish these victories without the full support of our sponsor and my teammates,” said Morales, who is aiming for a third straight Ronda Pilipinas title in March.
With Morales, Oranza and Rudy Roque at the helm, the Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance cycling team had won the Ronda Pilipinas overall individual and team championships four years in a row.
On the other hand, Torres, a perennial top local finisher in the Ironman 70.3 Philippines, is a longtime triathlete and duathlon star in the Standard Insurance stable, according to Echauz.
“Because of her winnings both locally and internationally in the long distance events that she joins, she has also been regularly recognized by sports media organizations,” said Echauz.
Torres topped the Powerman Asia Duathlon Championships—Malaysia 2017 last March.
Emmanuel Commendador and Torres dominated the top podium spots for the male and female elite category with a time of 2:48:36 and 03:04:11, respectively.
Torres also won the Tri-Sports 51.5 held in Ilocos Norte, also last March, and similarly topped the inaugural MusaMan Trt-DavNor 2017 with a time of 2:22:19, a standard distance triathlon hosted by the provincial government of Davao de Norte, last June.
The MusaMan 1.5K swim started at the shoreline stretch of the Banana Beach Hijo Resorts, before the bikers did the entire 40K bike course on the wide, flat roads of Tagum City and crossed the 10K run finish line at Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex.