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Lomotos tops kickoff race, but Roque is Ronda leader

Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance (front) Archie Cardana and Jay Lampawog pass one of the bridges of Ilocos Sur during the LBC Ronda Pilipinas yesterday. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance (front) Archie Cardana and Jay Lampawog pass one of the bridges of Ilocos Sur during the LBC Ronda Pilipinas yesterday. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

VIGAN, Ilocos Sur – Ronald Lomotos of Navy-Standard Insurance claimed his first stage victory even as teammate Rudy Roque finished second and topped the two intermediate sprint races to seize the overall lead at the start of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2017 that started and ended at the Provincial Capitol here yesterday.

Lomotos barely edged Roque and rookie Archie Cardana to take the 158-kilometer Stage One victory while completing a 1-2-3 finish by Navy with identical clockings of three hours, 51 minutes and 47 seconds to cop his very first stage win since joining this annual race three years ago.

Roque, 25, though will wear the LBC red jersey, which is symbolic of the overall leader after he gained a 15-second bonus, 10 of which came for topping the two sprint races the other five for ending up second in the stage to go into today’s Stage Two criteriuim also here with an overall aggregate time of 3:51:32.

Roque, a proud son of Tibo, Bataan who was discovered by former Tour champion Renato Dolosa years back, said they took charge and broke away in the final 30 kms when their top rider, last year’s champion Jan Paul Morales, was caught in a bind and heavily guarded by their chief rivals.

“Our strategy is to help Jan Paul (Morales) but we went to Plan B when we realized he was being guarded closely by our foes,” said Roque, who finished ninth in Ronda’s Inaugural edition six years ago, in Filipino.

For the 22-year-old Lomotos, he was just happy to win a stage in this 14-stage race staking R1 million to the champion courtesy of presentor LBC and in partnership with MVP Sports Foundation, Petron, Mitsubishi, Versa.ph, Partas, Maynilad, Standard Insurance, CCN, Bike Xtreme, NLEX, PhilCycling and 3Q Sports Event Management.

“I have been campaining for three years now and I’m glad to have won my very first stage,” said Lomotos, who hails from San Felipe, Zambales.
Also making his presence felt is Cardana, who came out of nowhere to make it to the podium.

“He was supposed to race last year but missed it because he needed to undergo basic seaman course,” said Navy skipper Lloyd Lucien Reynante of the 21-year-old Cardana.

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