NAGA CITY — Britain’s Daniel Whitehouse kept the yellow jersey as Australia’s Sean Whitfield took stage honors in tough weather conditions but largely uneventful second day of the 8th Le Tour de Filipinas.
Sean Whitfield of Oliver’s Real Food Racing led Whitehouse, riding for Malaysia-based Terengganu Cycling Team, and 24 others in the lead group that finished the 177.35-kilometer Stage 2 from Sorsogon City in four hours, 19 minutes and 21 seconds.
The 22-year-old Whitehouse has a total clocking of eight hours, 15 minutes, and 24 seconds, adding six seconds to his lead, now 1:57, over Attaque Team Gusto Benjamin Hill.
Rustom Lim of 7-Eleven Sava RBP checked in 16th, while Mark Galedo was 33rd with a clocking of 4:21:34.
Kinan Cycling Team’s Jai Crawford led by five-and-a-half minutes, riding alone ahead for 80 kilometers but Whitfield, Whitehouse and Co. caught up with him as he slowly descended Mt. Malinao.
The chase group, however, faced rains and rough winds coming from the Pacific Ocean on the climb in Sagnay, while there were spills on the descent to Ocampo, Camarines Sur.
“I said to my teammates, five minutes, one rider, I think we can do it,” said Whitfield. “It’s still very far from the finish,” said Whitfield.
“When we hit the coast, and the roads start to go up and down, the rain and the wind, the race on the KOM blew apart and it was just attack, attack. When it was raining and we don’t have the radios, it was difficult,” said Whitehouse.
Whitehouse, from Manchester, hopes to maintain the gap if not add to it as the race continues with Stage Three, a flat in the 177.35-km ride from Naga City to Daet.
“I looked at the profile today and I thought today was flat. So I don’t know,” said Whitehouse.
Aside from the general individual classification, Whitehouse is also looking to maintain his leads in points, and the King of the Mountain.
Team Ukyo (24:52:24), Kinan Cycling Team (24:59:45), and 7-Eleven RBP (25:10:26) are the top three in the team classification of the race presented by Air21 with Petron and UPS as principal sponsors and Philippine Airlines as airline partner.