DAET, Camarines Norte — British rider Daniel Whitehouse remains confident he can hold on to the top spot even as his commanding lead has been whittled down to seconds with one stage left in the 8th Le Tour de Filipinas.
The Terengganu Cycling Team member from Manchester, England saw a lead of almost two minutes chopped to just 23 seconds after Fernando Grijalba of Kuwait Cartucho.Es won Stage Three.
The result set up a wide-open race for the Le Tour crown with six riders including 2015 Le Tour champion Thomas Lebas of Kinan Cycling Team within striking distance.
“I give it (my all) ‘til I die. Until I fall off my bike. I’m not going to roll over,” said the 22-year-old Whitehouse.
Stage Four on Tuesday is be a 207.35-km race with a tough climb on ‘Tatlong Eme’ at Quezon National Forest Park, with the finish line set in Lucena City.
But Whitehouse noted every mile in the race will be crucial, not just the battle on the mountain.
“With this kind of racing where it is lumpy and there’s not much climb, it’s very complicated. It looks simple on the elevation but it’s very dynamic. Its unpredictability that gives it the edge,” said Whitehouse.
Whitehouse felt he still ran a good race despite losing the big lead in Stage Three.
“We were holding the gap quite well, and then four of the riders that were close in the general classification that ran after another,” said Whitehouse.