All eyes are on Ronald Oranza of Navy-Standard Insurance when the Visayas Leg of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2016 resumes on Sunday with the Stage Two criterium starting and ending at the Iloilo Business Park.
Oranza made his presence felt early by topping Stage One–another criterium–last Friday and securing him the LBC red jersey, which is symbolic of the leader, entering Stage Two of this cycling race considered the biggest in the country.
“I expect a tougher Stage Two,” said the 23-year-old Oranza, who won his third stage this year after topping the first two of the Mindanao Leg in Butuan City last month.
The Villasis, Pangasinan native timed in one hour, nine minutes and 23 seconds to claim the Stage One win and the 15 general individual classification points that goes with it.
Fellow Navyman Rudy Roque is currently at second with 13 points while LBC-MVP Sports Foundation’s Rustom Lim is at third with 11 after the two checked in 1:09:24.082 and 1:09:24.401, respectively.
LBC-MVPSF’s Ronald Lomotos finished fourth in 1:09:26.012 while Daniel Ven Carino and grizzled veteran Joel Calderon both of Navy ended up fifth and sixth with 1:09:29.012 and 1:09:29.314, respectively.
Lomotos gained nine points while Carino and Calderon had seven and six points.
Mindanao Leg winner Jan Paul Morales of Navy headed the peloton and contented himself with a seventh place finish with five points with a clocking of 1:10:07.660 after he was heavily guarded the whole stage.
Rounding up the top 10 were LBC-MVPSF’s Mark Julius Bonzo (4), Navy skipper Lloyd Lucien Reynante (3) and LBC-MVPSF’s George Oconer (2).
Expected to draw some of the attention is rookie Richard Nebres of Team ASG, who crashed in the final 500 meters but made a good account of himself after he put up a valiant challenge against the big guns.
Nebres still managed to finish the race but suffered a minor bruise and ended up with a permanently damaged bike.
“It was a learning experience for me,” said the 21-year-old Nebres, who hails from Mati, Davao Oriental.
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