BAGUIO City — EL Joshua Carino became the third Filipino to win the title in nine years of Le Tour de Filipinas, finishing strong in the race to the City of Pines on Wednesday.
Terrenganu Cycling Team’s Eritrean rider Metkel Eyob, four minutes off the pace in the general classification when the race was fired off in Lingayen, finished the 154.65-kilometer race to Baguio in four hours, five minutes and 52 seconds.
That wasn’t enough to claim overall championship, however, with Carino doing enough to take third place for the day and claim the title.
Carino joined Baler Ravina, who won in 2012, and 2014 champ Mark Galedo, as the only local riders to win the UCI-sanctioned race in the Philippines.
As he crossed the finish line, Carino raised his arms in victory knowing he did more than enough.
"Nung andun ako, iba na yung padyak ko e. Bawat padyak, may kaba talaga, kasi ayoko rin naman ipahiya yung mga Filipino na umaasa," said Carino.
"Hanggang ngayon di parin ako makapaniwala," added Carino.
It was a fine run for Navy in the race co-presented by Air 21, Cignal and Cargo Haus as Ronald Oranza snagged third place at 12:37:49, two minutes and 36 seconds behind Carino.
Jan Paul Morales, also from Navy, finished fourth with a time of 12:28:09 (2:56 behind) while Danish rider John Ebsen of Malaysia’s Forca Amskins racing was fifth at 12:28:45 (3:32 behind).
Navy also took home the group classification honors with a time of 37:21:41, seven minutes and 56 seconds ahead of 7-Eleven at 37:29:37.
The Navymen’s win however was marred by a crash involving June Rey Navarra, who collided with a motorcycle marshal in Umingan, Pangasinan, and is believed to have suffered a pelvic injury.
Other than that, it was a smooth race in the usually busy streets of Baguio behind the leadership of Mayot Mauricio Domogon and Oliver Panabang, chief of the PNP traffic division in Baguio.