Jan Paul Morales snatches leader’s jersey
SORSOGON—Jan Paul Morales of Excellent Noodles ruled the 12.3-kilometer Individual Time Trial Stage One of the 11th Ronda Pilipinas that started in front of the provincial capitol and ended at the Rampeolas Boulevard here on Friday.
Morales, who was the 87th of the 104 cyclists flagged off, registered the fastest time of 16 minutes and two seconds to seize the individual general classification lead and the leader’s LBC red jersey.
The former two-time Ronda king outpaced Ronald Oranza of Navy Standard Insurance (16:16) and Ronnilan Quita of Go for Gold (16.18), who both made the podium.
“I keep saying I give it my everything to win again and I want to prove to our boss Alex Bilian and all our supporters that we’re worthy of their support,” said Morales.
Oranza was the second to the last rider released and was on pace to win the opening stage triumph until strong winds foiled his bid.
The race was marred by a bloody incident when the Nueva Ecija team were left with little protection from a passenger jeepney, resulting in an accident that left cyclist Cyrus dela Cruz reportedly with a broken leg bone.
Dela Cruz was rushed to a hospital and will no longer rejoin the race.