The Philippine Navy Standard Insurance deserves a pat on the back after an overwhelming lead and victory today, Thursday, 27 February 2020, at LBC Ronda Pilipinas Stage 5, Lucena City To Antipolo City.
According to LBC Ronda Pilipinas Commissaire 2, Mickey Robb: “The Navy has good management, and for me, they got today what they rightfully deserved.”
Yesterday, at the 205.5-km race stage 4, the Navy Squad displayed a jaw-dropping performance as three of its sprinters/climbers completed the race with impressive 1-2-3 finish.
The 128.5-km Lucena City to Antipolo City stage 5 race is the last stage in the Southern Luzon routes scheduled in this year’s LBC Ronda Pilipinas anniversary race.
Stage 5 has a scheduled sprint mark situated at 79.7 km-mark in Famy, Laguna, and a KOM designated at the 91.5 km-mark with an elevation of 319 masl in Mabitac, Laguna.
When earlier asked about his hope to take hold of the red jersey, George Luis Oconer plainly remarked that the Navy Squad would do their best to achieve their goal of winning the leadership both in individual and team classification.
The impressive victory started early in the race as PNSI Junrey Navara, Ronald Oranza and Celeste Cycles Riemon Lapaza initiated the first breakaway somewhere in the Capital City of Quezon, Lucena City.
However, at 9:40 am, the composition of the lead pack beefed up as Go For Gold Jonel Carcueva, PNSI George Oconer, and John Mark Camingao stayed along with the original starters, Ronald Oranza, Junrey Navara and an unidentified Celeste Cycles rider.
At 10:08 am, it’s nothing but an all-Navy competition comprised of Ronald Oranza, towing the pack, Ronald Lomotos, Junrey Navara, El Joshua Cariño, George Oconer, and John Mark Camingao. At this time, the weather along Luisiana dubbed the little Baguio of Laguna because of its cold and serene surroundings, was uninviting because of intermittent rain showers. The peloton at this moment was behind by about 2:20.
The Navy only seemed laid-back at 11:12 in the morning while they replenished themselves, preparing for an uphill battle in Mabitac, Laguna. The squad encountered headwinds and occasional rain showers.
The lead of the 6-man PNSI race leaders even widened the lead by four minutes at 25 kilometers to the finish at 12 pm.
The red jersey holder Mark Julius Bordeos was detected languishing and struggling in the second group, not until Bicycology Shop Army Marvin Tapic outpaced the second group and went solo behind the race leaders in Tanay, Rizal in the final 5 kilometers at 12:29 pm.
History unfolded as the original six-man PNSI leaders appeared and completed the race in bunch finish—the first in the history of Philippine cycling race—in the same clocking of 3 hours 12 minutes and 50 seconds.
Further, Jan Paul Morales, the 7th man of the PNSI, led the second group to the finish with the same clocking, 4 mins and 30 sec behind the race leaders, with Go For Gold riders Ismael Grospe and Jonel Carcueva, BSA Marvin Tapic and CCT Roel Quitoy.
At this point, Mark Julius Bordeos was stripped off the red jersey and outpaced by PNSI rider George Luis Oconer in the individual general classification by 5 minutes and 14 seconds.
In the KOM and Sprint categories, both PNSI stalwarts, El Joshua Cariño and Jan Paul Morales, retained their respective supremacy respectively.
Also, the PNSI significantly broadened the gap about Team Classification with Go For Gold trailing by 18 minutes and 56 seconds and the Bicycology Shop Army by 21 minutes and 04 seconds.
LBC Ronda Pilipinas has only five remaining stages before its conclusion in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, on 4 March 2020.