Ronda: Aidan Mendoza wins Stage 3, Jan Paul Morales keeps overall lead
MANILA, Philippines—Young rider Aidan Mendoza of Go for Gold broke through with his first lap win in Stage Three of LBC Ronda Pilipinas on Saturday.
Veteran Jan Paul Morales of Excellent Noodles, meanwhile, mustered enough strength to hold on to the overall lead despite cramping up during the 163-kilometer stage that started in Sorsogon City and ended at Kalayaan Park in Legazpi City.
The 22-year-old Mendoza outlasted Excellent Noodles’ Mervin Corpuz and Ryan Tugawin along with six others in the final stretch.
Mendoza clocked four hours and 20 seconds to crash into the top 10 in the individual general classification race with an aggregate time of 5:33:38.
Morales finished with a time of 4:00:30 to keep his stranglehold of the overall lead at 5:31:59 ahead of the next stage, a 189.1-kilometer stretch from Legazpi to Daet.
“I was already feeling cramps in the final 20 kilometers but I decided to just endure it,” said Morales.
Morales is going for his third Ronda crown after winning in 2016 and 2017.
Four of Morales’ teammates in Tugawin, Barnachea, Corpuz and Mar Francis Sudario round out the top five.
Completing the top 10 were Go for Gold’s Ronnilan Quita (5:34:39), Oranza (5:35:04), Go for Gold’s Jonel Carcueva (5:35:18), Jericho Jay Lucero (5:35:32) and Mendoza.