NAVY-Standard Insurance's Jan Paul Morales goes for another victory as the Luzon Leg of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2016 gets back on the road with Stage Three, a criterium in Antipolo City on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Morales ruled Stage One in Paseo de Sta. Rosa in Laguna on Sunday and topped the Talisay-Tagaytay Stage Two individual time trial on Monday to grab the solo lead.
The two wins earned Morales 30 general classification points, leading Rustom Lim of LBC-MVP Sports Foundation by 10.
Last year's second placer George Oconer, another LBC-MVPSF cyclist who finished second in Stage One, is at No. 3 with 18 points and should also be a dangerous threat to Morales' bid for a second title since topping the Mindanao Leg.
"I'm confident of my chances because of my conditioning," said Morales, who was a little spent after a sixth-place finish in the Visayas last month.
Lim looks to take a title after placing third overall in the Visayas leg behind Ronald Oranza and Rudy Roque.
Ranlen Maglantay, from Marbel, South Cotabato who is now riding for LBC-MVPSF, used the break to recover from a spill he suffered after he accidentally hit a tricycle in Stage Two.
"I'm ready to race again," said the 18-year-old Maglantay, who made a big impression after he finished the Mindanao Leg on an outdated race bike, wearing a pair of rubber shoes.
Also expected to make a run at it is LBC-MVPSF's Ronald Lomotos, who is currently at No. 4 with 15 points.
At fifth to ninth overall are Navy cyclists John Mark Camingao (14), Rudy Roque (12), Joel Calderon (11), El Joshua Carino (9) and Lloyd Lucien Reynante (7) and LBC-MVPSF's Ronnilan Quita (6).
Reynante believes the dreaded Stage Four road race from Dagupan to Baguio will decide the overall battle.
The fifth and final stage of the event organized by LBC Express, sanctioned by PhilCycling and sponsored by Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, Petron and Versa Radio-Tech 1 Corp. with Maynilad and NLEX as minor sponsors is also set in Baguio in Saturday.
"Everything will be decided in Baguio," said Reynante.