Antipolo City—The mountainous terrain that leads out of Lucena City and into the busy and bustling roads of Antipolo City became a playground for Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance.
No one challenged all six Navy riders when they led in the first eight kilometers of the route along the Lucena City diversion road and into the uphill route along Lucban and entering Pagsanjan, Laguna in Stage 5 of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 10th Anniversary race here.
Navyman John Mark Camingao was in front of the pack of six Navymen, which reached the downhill finish line along Sumulong Memorial Circle together in three hours, 12 minutes and 50 seconds.
Coming into the finish line with Camingao were teammates Ronald Oranza, Junrey Navarra, El Joshua Carino, Ronald Lomotos and Jan Paul Morales, who were from second to sixth places.
“Sa first 11 kilometers ay nakawala na kami. Sakto ‘yun, puro ahon,” added said the 26-year-old Camingao.
At first, Celeste Cycles’ Reimon Lapaza tried to tag along behind Oranza and Navarra when they left Lucena City.
But the Navymen were able to shake off Lapaza in the first 87.7-km mark, as Oranza, Navarro and Camingao orchestrated a 1-2-3 finish in the intermediate spring stage in Famy, Laguna
At the 6.3-km King of the Mountain stage in Mabitac, it was Carino’s turn for a 1-2-3 finish with Navarra and Lomotos.
“Nagkataon na nasa harap kami. ‘Yung ruta ngayon rolling and mountain climb, alam namin na du’n kami lamang,” said Oranza, who is the Navymen’s skipper.
Because of this, the Navymen took the team stage classification lead for the second straight day for an 18-minute, 56-second lead over Go For Gold.
This allowed the Navymen to ease out Philippine Army-Bicycology’s Mark Julius Bordeos out of the individual general classification leadership.
Bordeos, who held the red jersey for four days, has given way to six Navymen who have since dominated the overall standings.
Oconer now has the red jersey following his sixth place finish in the stage.
The 28-year-old Oconer has a lead time of 17:54.13. He is 1:15 ahead of Oranza, with Lomotos trailing by 1:18 and Camingao in fourth by 1:53.
The Navymen are now in front of Go For Gold in the race for the overall team classification by 23 minutes and 40 seconds.
Oranza said they may still dominate the coming stages, depending on how the other teams will adjust to them.
“Depende sa mga susunod na araw. May Baguio pa, may mga ahon ahon pa. Five stages pa. Sabi ko sa mga ka-team ko, trabaho lahat,” stated Oranza.
Stage 6 will be a 111.9-km route around Tarlac.
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