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    Cris Joven tops Stage Four as Rudy Roque holds on to overall Ronda lead

    Feb 9, 2017
    Cris Joven winds up a hair ahead in a bunched sprint finish.

    KINETIX Lab-Army's Cris Joven outsprinted defending champion Jan Paul Morales of Navy-Standard Insurance and Ryan Serapio of Ilocos Sur to top Stage Four of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2017 that started at the Lighthouse Marina and ended at the Harbour Square in Subic Bay.

    Joven, 30, checked in with the same time as Morales and Serapio and a big group of riders in two hours, 40 minutes and six seconds but clinched an eight-second bonus for the stage win.

    "I made my move in the final stretch when I sensed I still have some energy left in me inside," said Joven, who started training for the event only last month as he focused on his job in the Army.

    "I wasn't expecting much in this race because I was off cycling for one year and only returned to action last month," said Joven, whose best finish was fourth overall five years ago.

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    Navy's Rudy Roque managed to stay with the lead group to keep the red jersey with an aggregate time of 11:12:15.

    The 31-year-old Morales is now in second spot, a minute and a half off pace with a total clocking of 11:13:45.

    After a forgettable start, Morales has topped the Stage Two criterium in Vigan, Ilocos Sur Sunday and the Angeles-Subic Stage Three.

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    "I was a marked man since I took the lead and I'm just happy to still remain on top even though they keep watching over me," said Roque, of Tibo, Bataan.

    Ronald Lomotos slid to third with a time of 11:14:33.

    Serapio moved up three places to fourth with a time of 11:16:07.

    Joven was also a big gainer as he zoomed from No. 14 to No. 9 with 11:16:48.

    Rounding out the top 10 were Navy's Jay Lampawog (11:16:12), Kinetix Lab-Army's Reynaldo Navarro (11:16:21), Go for Gold's Joshua Mari Bonifacio (11:16:28), Navy's Daniel Ven Carino (11:16:35) and Go for Gold's Ismael Grospe, Jr. (11:17:43).

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    The race will take a two-day breather before resuming action on Sunday with the Lucena-Pili Stage Five, the race's longest stage at 251 kms passing Tatlong Eme in Atimonan, Quezon.

    The champion gets P1 million courtesy of LBC in partnership with MVP Sports Foundation, Petron, Mitsubishi, Versa.ph, Partas, Maynilad, Standard Insurance, CCN, Bike Xtreme, NLEX, PhilCycling and 3Q Sports Event Management.

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    Cris Joven winds up a hair ahead in a bunched sprint finish.
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