Legazpi City—Rice farmer Ryan Tugawin of Team Tarlac did the unexpected as he found an opportunity to take the Stage 2 honors of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas Anniversary race.
Three past champions, Reimon Lapaza, Ronald Oranza and Jan Paul Morales were at the front of a five-man lead group in a fierce skirmish to take the stage leadership.
That was when the 24-man main peloton, led by 7Eleven rider Rustom Lim, caught up with them as they entered Legazpi City with 5 kms left.
As Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance George Oconer made an approach to attack, Go For Gold rider Ismael Grospe Jr. followed and so did Tugawin.
With the noonday sun blazing overhead, Tugawin pushed forward and overtook Grospe from the right side as a 20-man pack reached the city hall finish line with the same time of three hours, 50 minutes and 30 seconds.
“Wala sa plano ito. Inusad ko na lang. Nakatutok si George, umaatake, kaya hinabol ko,” said Tugawin.
Stage 2 is 154.5-kilometer ride through the flat roads of Sorsogon City to Legazpi City.
Grospe settled for second place in the podium, while Oconer placed third.
Philippine Army-Bicycology’s Dominic Perez settled for fourth, followed by Ronnilan Quita, Bike Extreme’s Arjay Kaul and Jerry Aquino Scratch It.
Oranza, who last won the crown in 2018, stayed with main peloton as it reached the finish line.
Team 7Eleven’s aggressive actions allowed them to claim the team stage honors with Go For Gold, Army and Celeste Cycles, and after logging similar combined times of 15 hours, 22 minutes and 28 seconds.
Overall, Bordeos kept his three-second lead in the overall classifcation, after staying with the main group in Stage 2.
Aquino is three seconds behind, while Oconer and Lim are in third and fourth, respectively, some six seconds behind.
In the overall team classification, Team 7Eleven emerged as the top team, followed in second and third by the Navymen and Armymen.
Meanwhile, organizers expressed their regrets of cancelling two stages that were supposed to be in Lingayen.
“In behalf of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas, we would like to thank Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III and Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil for the invitation to hold two stages there,” said Ronda chief organizer Moe Chulani.
“Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, they have decided to cancel all events including sports activities. In lieu of this, we’re going to Tarlac City to hold Stages Six and Seven to complete our scheduled 10 stages.”
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