Tarlac Central Luzon rider Kenneth Solis, a former army rider, subjugated other rivals from the directing teams such as the Philippine Navy, Go For Gold, Bicycology Shop Army, and others. Solis was followed closely by South Luzon Batangas rider Christopher Garado, Bikextreme’s Mar Sudario, and 3 others in a sprint finish.
Commonly, Stage 9 route is the turf of some stellar Ilocandia riders like Kenneth Solis, who hails from Malasiqui, Pangasinan.
Surprisingly, yesterday, at the Stage 8 race, former LBC Ronda Pilipinas Champions 7-Eleven Cliqq-Air 21 by Road Bike Philippines rider Mark John Galedo and Celeste Cycles rider Reimon Lapaza along with Go For Gold Jhon Byron Lucero, South Luzon Batangas rider Kim Kenneth Krogg and another rider from Celeste Cycles, Melchor Abejuro reportedly did not finish the competition. That’s the reason why there were barely 69 riders from the 74 riders who competed in today’s race.
Moreover, Go For Gold Daniel Ven Cariño regained his U23 leadership from his closest rival and teammate, Ismael Grospe, by only two milliseconds in the same stage.
At the start of the penultimate stage of LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2020, which started in Pugo, La Union, and ended in the heritage city of Vigan, sixty-nine riders signed up for this match from the original 88 riders since the race commenced in Sorsogon.
The 176. 4 km-Stage 9 of LBC Ronda Pilipinas appeared to be a cavalcade of 69 surviving riders as they were stagnant in the majority of the path and were not able to move drastically as the Navy Team, Go For Gold, and Scratch It served as sentinels in the entirety of the racecourse.
Also, Stage 9 served as a vindication for the Navy Squad and an opportunity for some riders to clinch stage honors.
Though there were some early soft break riders in the first 6 kilometers like TIS Jhun Bray Calivo, BXP Mar Sudario, 711 Mervin Corpuz, PNSI Lance Allen Benito, and CCT Leonel Dimaano, it was only momentary.
In San Fernando, La Union, two breakaway riders, TIS Sherwin Carrera and TCL Alfredo Asuncion cropped up. Strong headwinds faced Asuncion and Carrera in San Juan. Still, the two only lasted for 35 kilometers before the peloton counterattacked them somewhere in Luna, La Union.
In the interim, at the first sprint zone situated at 67 km-mark, Go For Gold Ronnel Hualda outpaced PNSI Jan Paul Morales and TNE Arjay Peralta in the first sprint zone.
Reportedly, BXP riders sustained flat tires one reportedly involved in crash in the peloton.
In transit, riders from Go For Gold and ScratchIt led by Santy Barnachea, who was alternately towing the main bunch, attempted to break from the peloton.
Meanwhile, at the 146.3 km-mark where the second sprint zone was situated, PNSI Jan Paul Morales finally outwitted Go For Gold Ronnel Hualda who was nearly pursued by TNE Arjay Peralta.
On the fly, BXP Arjay Kaul and TCL Lord Anthony Del Rosario figured in a wipeout.
When the tension became intense in the peloton, Sherwin Carrera, CCT Leonel Dimaano, TIS Jingo Tabayoyong, and TCL Ryan Tugawin established yet another soft break in between, but later, the peloton reabsorbed them.
As the race headed toward the final ten kilometers, the action started as six hell-bent breakaway riders comprised of SIT Santy Barnachea, 711 Mervin Corpuz, BXP Mar Sudario, CCT Bryant Sepnio and SLB Christopher Garado broke from the peloton. Initially, the race leaders had a 31-second lead, then they abruptly widened the gap to 70 seconds as they approached the one km-mark under threat and pounding of strong headwinds and crosswinds coming from the West Philippine Sea.
In the last 500 meters, these six riders had built momentum, pedaling at full pelt. Santy Barnachea initiated the attack, but Mar Sudario overpowered his pace and likewise by Sepnio. However, Barnachea had lost the grip in the lead and blown up that incited Solis, Garado, Sudario, Corpuz, and Sepnio to crank heavily overcoming the veteran rider.
Sadly, Bikextreme rider Arjay Kaul and Celeste Cycles rider Leonel Dimaano did not finish the race.
Check out the current general individual and team classification standings indicated hereunder: