Ronald Oranza and Kate Jasmin Velasco did their Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance team proud in the PhiCycling National Trials for Road at the Clark Freeport Zone on Sunday.
Oranza won the men’s road race, while Velasco collected her second gold medal in the two-day trials presented by Standard Insurance, Smart, MVP Sports Foundation, Bases Conversion Development Authority and Clark Development Corp.
Oranza, the pride of Villasis, Pangasinan, led a 1-2-3 finish by the Navymen in the 147.6-km road race that started and finished at the Clark Parade Grounds, clocking three hours, 18 minutes and 25.80 seconds
George Oconer settled for the silver with a time of 3:18:32.15, while Ronald Lomotos bagged the bronze (3:18:35.23).
“We did our best to protect each other throughout the race,” said the 28-year-old Oranza. “That’s why we managed to book a 1-2-3 finish.”
“I am praying these trials will mark the return of cycling events all over the country,” added Oranza, one of several national team mainstays, whose performances were evaluated in the trials also supported by Go for Gold, Chooks-to-Go, GAC Motor, Gatorade, Versa, 7-Eleven, Le Tour de Filipinas, 7-Eleven, UBE Express Inc., Powerade, Wilkins, Coca-Cola, Shimano, Bike-X and MadCrank.
The event was organized by the PhilCycling headed by Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, also president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Velasco, winner of the individual time trial on Saturday, clocked 2:15:17.62 to rule the 80.70-km race, with teammate Mathilda Krogg making the podium with a 2:15:19.75 clocking.
Avegail Rombaon, switching her MTB with a road bike, broke a Navy domination by outsprinting Krogg in the final 50 meters to snatch the silver, crossing the line 1.76 seconds behind Velasco.
“I never expected to win today [the road race]. It was Marianne [Dacumos], our senior, who’s in our game plan, but I got the opportunity, so we didn’t let it slip away,” said Velasco, who lives in nearby Floridablanca, Pampanga. “This title is very important to us, and we dedicate this to our sponsors.”
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