Cycling: After Ronda Pilipinas, Navy gears up for more races


Posted at Feb 13 2019 04:51 PM

Cycling: After Ronda Pilipinas, Navy gears up for more races 1
Navy-Standard Insurance's Ronald Oranza (left) placed second in the LBC Ronda Pilipinas. Handout

MANILA, Philippines -- Navy-Standard Insurance's Ronald Oranza will just have a couple of weeks to rest and re-energize, before returning to training in preparation for a pair of UCI-sanctioned races.

"We'll rest for two weeks, and we'll be back on the road because we will also be competing in the Pru Life and Le Tour," said Oranza after he finished second in the 2019 LBC Ronda Pilipinas. 

Winning the race was Tour de France veteran Francisco Mancebo Perez of Matrix Powertag Japan.

Oranza, 26, said he learned a lot from this year's Ronda Pilipinas that he intends to use in future races.

"This race taught us that we really have to train harder because the foreign riders are really strong. Training hard isn’t enough, we have to double or triple our efforts for us to have a chance at beating them," he said.

He was unable to defend his Ronda Pilipinas crown, but Oranza still emerged as the best local rider.

"The competition is really tough and Mancebo is really strong. So finishing behind him (Mancebo) isn’t that bad and it still feels like winning a back-to-back in Ronda Pilipinas," Oranza pointed out.

What was disappointing, however, was that Navy faltered in the overall team race. Winners of the last five editions, they placed just third behind Matrix Powertag Japan and 7Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines.

"We're okay with it. We can't win all the time," insisted Navy coach Navy coach Rienhard Gorrantes. "What is important is that we fought until the end and we gave them a good fight."

"We'll try again to win more races in the future," he added. 

Oranza and the Navymen are eyeing to compete in the Pru Life in May, and the Le Tour in June.

Gorrantes said there are a lot at stake in those two races.

"The Pru Life and Le Tour are both UCI races so we have to do good there because we want to earn qualifying points for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," he said.

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