Ronald Oranza says lead not safe with three tough mountain stages left in Ronda
Ronald Oranza hopes to protect a seven-minute lead. 

LEAVING nothing to chance, race leader Ronald Oranza and the Navy-Standard Insurance team are using the break to study the route for the last three mountain stages of the Ronda Pilipinas.

With four podium finishes including three stage triumphs in eight stages with an aggregate clocking of 21 hours, one minute and 56 seconds, Oranza is seven minutes ahead of Navy teammate Jan Paul Morales at 21:08:51 and Go for Gold Developmental team’s Jay Lampawog at 21:19:31.

But the 25-year-old proud son of Villasis, Pangasinan says the lead is still not safe.

“I have to really race smart and be extra cautious to avoid accidents or mechanical problems,” said Oranza.

“That is why we’re already here in Cavite to study the routes because I want to familiarize myself with these ascents.”

The race resumes on Thursday with the 207.2km Silang to Tagaytay Stage Nine on Thursday, followed by the 147.8km Tagaytay-Calaca Stage 10 on Friday and the 92.72km Calaca-Calaca Stage 11 on Saturday.

The event will conclude with the Stage 12 criterium in Filinvest, Alabang on Sunday.

“That is my dream, to become Ronda champion. But I have to finish the race first before I think of anything,” said Oranza.

Army-Bicycology’s Cris Joven (21:20:02) is fourth followed by Navy’s John Mark Camingao (21:20:24), Go for Gold’s George Oconer (21:20:51), Go for Gold Developmental team’s Ronnel Hualda (21:21:29), Navy’s Rudy Roque (21:21:42), CCN Superteam’s Irish Valenzuela (21:22:04) and Navy’s Junrey Navara (21:22:08) in the race presented by LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation, Filinvest, Philippine Rabbit, CCN, Petron,, 3Q Sports Event Management, Inc., Boy Kanin, Franzia, Standard Insurance, Bike Xtreme, SH+, Guerciotti, Prolite, Green Planet, Maynilad, NLEX Sports, Lightwater, LBC Foundation and PhilCycling.

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