LUCENA CITY, Philippines – Navy-Standard Insurance’s Lloyd Lucien Reynante atoned for his opening lap miscue with a thrilling Stage Four win, blowing past Dutch Global’s Jeroen Breewel and PLDT-Maynilad’s Junrey Navarra in another frantic finish in Ronda Pilipinas International 2014 here yesterday.
As 7-Eleven’s Cris Joven charged back in the last 20 kms to keep the overall lead, Reynante snapped a two-year spell by outsprinting Breewel and Navarro in the final kilometer to record his first lap victory since topping the Iloilo-Caticlan stage in Ronda’s inaugurals.
The victory, worth P50,000, more than made up for his blunder in the Stage One criterium in Quezon City last Friday when was stripped of a second place finish for re-entering a wrong group after he was overlapped by the lead pack.
“I dedicate this victory to my Navy-Standard Insurance team,” said the 35-year-old Reynante, who pumped his right fist into the air after securing the victory to the delight of the big crowd headed by Lucena Mayor Roderick “Dondon” Alcala infront of the City Hall, in Pilipino.
Reynante checked in at two hours, 43 minutes and 35 seconds, the same clocking of Breewel, Navarra, PLDT-Maynilad’s Ronald Lomotos, Roadbike’s Spanish reinforcement Edgar Nieto, Danish John Ebsen of CCN and Frenchman Peter Pouly of Infinite-Singha.
Navy-Standard skipper Santy Barnachea, the 37-year-old first Ronda king, was actually part of the lead group but lost steam in the final 800 meters and ended up eighth in the lap in 2:43.41.
He, however, emerged as the only gainer of the day as he moved from No. 8 to fifth with a total clocking of 13:24.37, or 3.41 minutes behind Joven’s 13:20.56.
Joven, 27, nearly lost the red jersey he seized after topping the Muntinlupa-Silang Stage Two Saturday but rallied in the last 20 kms to join the main group that included teammate and team captain Mark Galedo, the second edition champion and gold medal winner in last December’s Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
Reimon Lapaza of Cycleline-Butuan Mindanao kept Joven in sight all-race long and remained at No. 2 with 13:20.58 clocking.
The 36-year-old Pouly also stayed at No. 3 after he reeled back after the pair of tough ascents in Caliraya and Luisiana, Quezon where he and the lead pack slowed down approaching the finish line in Lucena town proper.
The Frenchman, however, cut some minutes off Joven’s lead, trailing the leader by just 41 seconds from 1.35 minutes at the start of the race in San Pablo, Laguna.
Rounding up the top 10 are Cebu-Kalit Air Force’s Oscar Rindole (13:24.16) at No. 4, Roadbike’s Marcelo Felipe (13:24.40) at No. 6, Cycleline-Butuan Mindanao’s Vicmar Vicente (13:24.48) at No. 7, Galedo (13:24.49) at No. 8, Matrix Powertag’s Daiki Yasuhara (13:25.28) at No. 9 and PLDT-Maynilad’s Ronald Oranza (13:25.34) at No. 10.
Ronda action resumes today with the 151.7-km Stage 5 around Quezon Province through the Bondoc Peninsula, Gumaca and Atimonan before concluding at the provincial capitol here.
This 14-stage event is presented by LBC, the largest courier and cargo company, sponsored MVP Sports Foundation, Petron, NLEX, Maynilad, PLDT and Mitsubishi, Versa 2 Way Radio and Standard Insurance and minor sponsor Air Asia Zest and C! Magazine, sanctioned by PhilCycling and backed by Shimano and Cannondale bikes, the Department of Tourism and Phl National Police chief Allan Purisima.