Patria Rasta of indonesia celebrates after crossing the finish line to win the 3rd stage of Le Tour de Filipinas.
MANILA, Philippines -- Patria Rastra nosed out his competitors in a mad dash to the finish in Stage 3 of the 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Rastra outsprinted four riders, including former champion Jonifer Ravina and veteran Lloyd Lucien Reynante, as they approached the finish line in the 146.6-kilometer stage that started in Cabanatuan City and ended in Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya.
He submitted a time of four hours, 12 minutes and 25 seconds.
The Pegasus Continental Team rider edged Mongolian Baasankhuu Myagmarsugen (Atilla), Korean Kim Dohyoung (KSPO), Ravina (Team 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines) and Reynante (Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance) to occupy the top of the podium in the third leg of the race presented by Air21.
“It’s a very hot Tour, but I managed to hold on,” said Rastra, who, despite the stage victory, could only improve three places up the general classification, which Singaporean Goh Choon Juat (OCBC Singapore Continental Cycling Team) continued to dominate.
Heavy traffic at Talavera town just 15 kilometers into the stage prevented the riders from quickly moving forward, forcing a major gridlock in the narrow national highway and confusion among the cyclists and entourage.
That prompted International Commissaire Nuthapong Lohitnavee to neutralize the stage and order a restart at the Baloc intersection in Sto. Domingo town about eight kilometers out.
The restart seemed to have allowed Rastra’s Pegasus team to draw a strategy that worked well, especially on the climb at Dalton Pass and the decent to Aritao town in Nueva Viscaya.
“After the restart, I broke away and several riders followed me. After the KOM [King of the Mountain], opted to stay with my group,” Rastra said.
Ravina ruled the Category 3 KOM atop Dalton Pass to boost his title aspirations. His efforts, however, only allowed him to move three places up the general classification.
Ravina improved to 29th overall—13 minutes and 39 seconds behind Goh—and Reynante to 14th place (8:26 behind).
Rastra, Reynante and Ravina bolted out front in the 40-km mark with five other riders and rode as a solid bunch most of the way.
They alternated at the pace to stave off the peloton and several chasers in the stage that stretched along Maharlika Highway in Munoz and San Jose in Nueva Ecija. The leaders managed gaps of up to close to three minutes.
Ravina’s strong finish, meanwhile, shoved 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines to the No. 1 spot in the team general classification a day before the Le Tour de Filipinas climbs the Cordilleras in Benguet in the 134-km Stage Four to Baguio City.
OCBC Singapore Continental Cycling Team was 11th in the stage but still kept the team general classification over 7-Eleven Road Bike Philippines by five and a half minutes.