SILANG, Cavite—Go for Gold Developmental team’s Jay Lampawog seeks to finish strong in the final four stages of the Ronda Pilipinas 2018 presented by LBC with hopes of completing what he already considers a fairy-tale run.
Coming into the 12-stage race with little expectation, the 20-year-old Lampawog defied the odds and zoomed to third in the overall individual race when no one expected him to and is a clear favorite to win the MVP Sports Foundation Best Young Rider trophy.
The Go for Gold Developmental team has also ridden on the shoulder of Lampawog to zoom to second overall in the team race behind only the flying Navy-Standard Insurance team.
“I feel I’m in a dream, I couldn’t believe that I’m up there with the best of Philippine cycling,” said Lampawog, a native of Villasis, Pangasinan. “My goal now is to finish strong and get myself confidence going home.”
It was truly a phenomenal performance for Lampawog, who has an aggregate clocking of 21 hours and 19.31 minutes for third overall behind only leader Ronald Oranza of Navy-Standard Insurance with 21:01:56 and another Navy bet and reigning back-to-back titlist Jan Paul Morales with 21:08:51.
Lampawog has outperformed former Ronda kings Santy Barnachea of Team Franzia and Irish Valenzuela of CCN Superteam as well as other contenders like national team mainstay George Oconer of Go for Gold’s main team, Army-Bicycology’s Cris Joven and last year’s runner-up Rudy Roque of Navy.
Thanks also to Lampawog, Go for Gold Developmental team has leapfrogged to No. 2 in the overall team race with an aggregate clocking of 82:52:24, behind only the heavily favored Navy-Standard with 82:19:52 and ahead of No. 3 Army-Bicycology with 83:10:47.
Lampawog’s coach, Eds Hualda, isn’t a bit surprised with his ward’s strong effort in this race presented by LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation, Filinvest, Philippine Rabbit, CCN, Petron, Versa.ph, 3Q Sports Event Management, Inc., Boy Kanin, Franzia, Standard Insurance, Bike Xtreme, SH+, Guerciotti, Prolite, Green Planet, Maynilad, NLEX Sports, Lightwater, LBC Foundation and PhilCycling.
“The first time we took him in into our team, we knew he (Lampawog) is special,” said Hualda. “So we really expected him to do good this year and if he keeps doing what he’s doing, I think he can also be a Ronda Pilipinas champion someday.”
Lampawog said that’s his dream.
“Everyone in cycling wants to be a champion, that’s my dream too,” said Lampawog.
The last four laps will consist of the punishing 207.2 km Silang-Batangas-Tagaytay Stage 9 on Thursday, the 147.8 km Tagaytay-Calaca Stage 10 on Friday and the 92.72 km Calaca-Calaca Stage 11 Saturday. Ronda will wind up with the 50 km Filinvest Alabang criterium Stage 12 on Sunday.