JUNREY Navarra of PLDT-Maynilad upstaged the big guns with a fine performance in Stage 11 as Mark Galedo kept the overall individual lead on Thursday in the Ronda Pilipinas International 2014.
The 21-year-old Navarra ruled the 95.8-kilometer stage from san Fernando in La Union to Baguio via Marcos Highway, finishing in two hours, 53 minutes and 47 seconds.
Frenchman Peter Pouly of Infinite-Singha finished second, 43 seconds behind, at 2:54:30, while Mark Galedo was 55 seconds behind at 2:54:42.
“I did it for the team and for the country,” said Navarra, a high school dropout who had to quit school to focus on cycling and earn money to support his family back home.
Navarra also helped lift PLDT-Maynilad, the country’s national under-23 team coached by American Chris Allison, from third to second in the team standings behind 7-Eleven.
7-Eleven regained the solo lead after losing it to Navy-Standard Insurance in the Baguio City criterium Stage 10, with a total time of 110:39:05, just 37 ticks ahead of PLDT-Maynilad with 110:39:42.
Navy-Standard slid to third place, two minutes and 20 seconds behind.
France’s Pouly made several attempts to break loose, but Galedo and Reimon Lapaza of Cyclineline Butuan managed to match pace.
The three will thus enter Stage 12 in the same order on the leaderboard, with Galedo at 36:46:48 and holding a two-minute and 16-second lead over Lapaza and Pouly three minutes and 28 seconds off the pace.
Rounding out the top 10 were Roadbike’s Marcelo Felipe (36:52:08), Navy-Standard’s George Oconer (36:53:25), PLDT-Maynilad’s Ronald Oranza (36:55:52), Navy-Standard’s Santy Barnachea (36:56:12), PLDT-Maynilad’s Rustom Lim (36:57:50), Army’s Irish Valenzuela (37:00:42) and 7-Eleven’s Mark Julius Bordeos (37:01:30).
Pouly, who was slowed down by a punctured tire early in the race, declared Galedo champion.
“Galedo is it,” said Pouly.
Galedo was glad to hear it.
“I feel the title is mine now,” said the 28-year-old Galedo, who is looking to win his second title in the four-year-old event.
Pouly has secured the King of the Mountain title with 71 points ahead of Galedo’s 49 and Navarra’s 47 after topping the Dagupan-Baguio Stage 10 last Monday and the second-place finish in Stage 12 of the event presented by LBC, sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation, Petron, NLEX, Maynilad, PLDT and Mitsubishi, Versa 2 Way Radio and Standard Insurance and minor sponsor Air Asia Zest and C! Magazine, sanctioned by PhilCycling and backed by Shimano Cannondale bikes, the Department of Tourism and Philippine National Police chief Allan Purisima.