Felipe spearheads all-Filipino podium in Stage 2
JORDAN, GUIMARAS—Mar-celo Felipe of 7Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines edged El Joshua Cariño at the line to rule the second stage of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2019 in this picturesque island off the coast of Iloilo City on Saturday.
Felipe nosed out Cariño, who rides for Navy Standard Insurance, in a frenetic two-man sprint, both of them submitting a similar clocking of two hours, 40 minutes and 19 seconds at the end of the largely flat but windy 101.8-kilometer out-and-back course.
Jonel Carcueva of Go for Gold Philippines Continental Team ferociously gave chase in the last few hundred meters and reached the finish four seconds behind Felipe to complete the podium of Filipino riders.
“I told them that we should help each other, so I’m glad that we, Filipino riders, finished in the top 3,” said Felipe in Filipino, who will celebrate his 29th birthday on Saturday in Stage 3 of the Ronda from Iloilo City to Roxas City (174.9 kilometers).
Tour de France veteran Francisco Mancebo Perez retained the red jersey and the overall leadership after he cleverly floated with the peloton and finished just 20 seconds off the lap winner.
Mancebo, whose claim to fame was a fourth-overall performance during the 2005 Tour de France, arrived with a bunch of riders together with two of his Matrix Powertag Japan teammates.
In that big group of cyclists who checked in with the 42-year-old Mancebo were defending champion Ronald Oranza of Navy Standard Insurance, who stayed at second overall (3:52 behind) and third placer Felipe’s teammate, Dominic Perez (4:01).
Two-time Ronda champion Jan Paul Morales remained at fourth overall, 4:45 back, while Junya Sano of Matrix (4:53) and Joo Dae-yeong (4:58) stayed at fifth and sixth.
2013 Ronda champion Irish Valenzuela moved up to seventh (5:20), Mark Julius Bordeos of Army Bicycology (same time) was eighth, Rustom Lim of 7Eleven-Road Bike ninth (5:28) and Felipe 10th (6:26).
Ismael Grospe of Go For Gold Philippines Continental Team, who topped the lone climb of the day, maintained his lead of four minutes over Kang Tae-woo of Korail in the best young rider category.
Matrix remained the leader in the team event with three more stages to go with 7Eleven (2:47 behind) and Navy Standard Insurance (3:31) in hot pursuit.
Carcueva escaped from the lead pack and sped ahead after the small climb late in the race, but Felipe and Cariño gave chase and caught up with the Go For Gold ace 10 km from the finish.
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