MALAYBALAY, Bukidnon - Jan Paul Morales of Navy-Standard Insurance turned the fifth and final stage into his own coronation ride as he formally claimed the Mindanao title of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2016 on Saturday.
All but assured of the title after reigning supreme in the Stage Four individual time trial at the Dahilayan Forest Park in Manolo Fortich on Thursday, Morales breezed through the final race in fifth place with a clocking of one hour, nine minutes and 20.54 seconds.
Morales let out a big smile as he crossed the finish line, savoring the first multi-stage victory of his career.
"The feeling is different because this is my first multi-stage win," said the 30-year-old Morales in Filipino.
Morales thanked his Navy squad and his wife Lennie and kids Janelle and Jan Paul Jr.
"I wouldn't have done it without my family and my Navy team," he said.
Navyman El Joshua Carino took stage honors with a time of 1:08:26.01 while teammates Lloyd Lucien Reynante and Rudy Roque ended up second and third in the stage in 1:08:37.08 and 1:08:37.22, respectively.
Morales accumulated 55 points at the end of the five-stage Mindanao race, a clear 13 points ahead of closest pursuer and teammates Ronald Oranza and Reynante, who each ended up with 42 points.
Oranza beat Reynante, the Navy skipper, in the tiebreak to clinch second, thanks to a faster time of 8:30:32.19 as against the latter's 8:36:12.99 clocking.
Watch video highlights of the final stage:
It was an emphatic win for Morales,who won Stage Three in Pueblo de Oro down in Cagayan de Oro City and the Manolo Fortich ITT and wound up No. 2 to Oranza in the first two stages in Butuan City.
Morales seized the red LBC leader's jersey right after the opening stage and never looked back.
There were some anxious moments in Stage Two a week ago when Morales collided with Oranza and crashed, leaving him with bruises on his right shoulder and thigh.
He recovered from the fall and even finished second in the stage.
In all, Morales pocketed P116,000 cash including P50,000 for emerging the LBC Leg champion.
It was also total domination for Navy as eight of its riders wound up in the top 10 overall and won every single individual award and prize.
Aside from Morales, Oranza and Reynante, other Navymen in the top 10 were Daniel Ven Carino, Navy's youngest rider at 19 years old with 35 points, Roque (34), the elder Carino (26), Joel Calderon (26) and John Mark Camingao (15).
Only Team LBC-MVP Sports Foundation’s Ronnilon Quita and Team LCC Lutayan’s James Paolo Ferfas made it to the top 10 outside Navy after winding up ninth and 10th with 13 and 12 points.
Camingao, who was born in Davao but lived in Manila, bucked tonsilitis to edge Ferfas, who is from Marbel, South Cotabato, to win the Petron Local Hero plum.
The event, sanctioned by PhilCycling, is sponsored by Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, Petron and Versa Radio-Tech 1 Corp. with Maynilad and NLEX as minor sponsors.