Le Tour chief commissaire relieved with smooth restart after chaotic opener
Chief Commissaire Louise Jones says she feared for the riders' lives in the first stage. Jham Mariano

SOLANO, Nueva Vizcaya — Chief commissaire Louise Jones was pleased to see a smooth and safe race in Le Tour de Filipinas a day after the opening stage was scratched.

The Welsh UCI official lauded the organizers for a fine job in the 157.15 kilometer Cabanatuan to Bayombong race.

"Yesterday was very much a safety issue, I feared for the riders’ lives. Today, everything was 300-percent better," said Jones.

"Everyone did their job properly, the organization looked after us pretty well and I’m pleased with the marshalls, everyone made the racing very safe," she added.

Towns in Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya coordinated well with the organizers, a far cry from the experience in Bulacan and Pampanga where the race had to be neutralized five times.

"I think yesterday, they were a little bit lax on what they do and didn’t realize what the consqeuences could be. After some meetings last night, they came to my understanding which is based on safety and today was brilliant."

The crowd at the Bayombong Town Hall was filled with enthusiasm and that was rewarded with a Ronald Oranza victory as the Villasis, Pangasinan native became just the fourth Filipino to win a stage in the nine-year history of the tournament co-presented by Air 21, Cignal and Cargo Haus.

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