BAGUIO CITY — Mark Galedo moved to the front of the pack with 42 kilometers to race, and when it was clear his title rivals were far back, he eased up a bit on the cranks on the way to victory in Le Tour de Filipinas 2014 on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Galedo was ahead when the lead pack reached the top of the second Category 3 climb, 90.7 km into the 132.7-km race from Bayombong in Nueva Vizcaya to the country’s summer capital.
He had slid to second behind Ariya Phounsavath at the final Hors Categorie climb at the 125-km mark, an ascent beyond classification by international cycling standards.
But by then Galedo had created a safe gap from main title rival Eric Timothy Sheppard of Australia and he went on to finish second for the stage and claimed the overall title in the only UCI-sanctioned cycling race in the country.
Phounsavath, a Laotian climber, won the stage in four hours, 32 minutes and 42 seconds and claimed the King of the Mountain title.
But Galedo’s 4:33:56 ride was enough to earn him the top spot in the overall individual classification, as Sheppard crossed the finish line a minute and 47 seconds later to take fourth spot in the stage and second place overall.
Galedo started the day in third, just 30 seconds behind Sheppard, while two-day leader Goh Choon Huat of Singapore finished 16th for the day and wound up 11th overall.
Finishing third overall was Iran’s Alireza Asgharzadeh of the Tabriz Continental Team.
Galedo is only the second to win the crown in five editions of Le Tour, with Baler Ravina winning in 2012. Ravina failed to bag a second title, getting disqualified in the fourth stage for hanging on to his team vehicle for too long during a stretch of the race.