MANILA – Ronald Oranza is officially the champion of the 2018 Ronda Pilipinas, after completing one of the most dominant performances in the race's eight-year history in front of a sizable crowd at the Filinvest, Alabang on Sunday.
Already assured of the Ronda Pilipinas crown, Oranza still went hard and wound up in second place in the Stage 12 criterium, behind Jan Paul Morales and ahead of Junrey Navarra in an all-Navy Standard podium.
He clocked in at one hour, 28 minutes, and 15 seconds.
After 12 grueling stages that started in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Oranza totaled 34:11:23 to best all comers including Morales, the titlist in the last two editions who finished second and about 11 minutes behind with 34:22:56.
Oranza pocketed the top prize of P1-M along with P300,000 worth of Boy Kanin franchise, a beautifully-crafted trophy, and a place in the exclusive club of Ronda Pilipinas champions. He joins a short list composed of two-time winners Morales and Santy Baranchea of Team Franzia, Irish Valenzuela of CCN Superteam, Mac Galedo and Butuan City’s Reimon Lapaza.
“I can’t feel anything but happiness,” said the 25-year-old Oranza in Filipino.
Oranza was nothing less than dominant in the 2018 Ronda Pilipinas, as he took the overall lead in the second round and posted nine podium finishes, including victories in Stage 1 in Vigan, Stage 2 in Pagudpud, and Stage 7 in Tarlac.
Navarra, meanwhile, wound up third overall in 34:33:06 while taking home his fourth CCN King of the Mountain trophy. Morales added the Petron Sprint King award to his growing collection of trophies.
Navy was also the undisputed winner in the Versa team race, clocking 135:13:47 ahead of Army-Bicycology, a team sponsored by former Phl Sports Commission and Games and Amusement Board chair Eric Buhain, with 136:56:19 and Go for Gold Developmental team with 136:59:26.
Go for Gold Developmental team’s Jay Lampawog snatched the only award that Navy failed to win by becoming the MVP Sports Foundation Young Rider winner.
Go for Gold’s George Oconer finished fourth overall in 34:38:15, Navy’s Jhon Mark Camingao fifth in 34:39:30 and Army-Bicycology’s Cris Joven sixth in 34:41:21.
Rounding up the top 10 were Go for Gold’s Boots Ryan Cayubit (34:43:50), Navy’s El Joshua Carino (34:45:32), Go for Gold Developmental team’s Lampawog (34:48:03) and Navy’s Rudy Roque (34:49:52).
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