TAIWANESE rider Feng Chun Kai took stage honors, while local bet Cris Joven kept the overall lead after Stage Three of the Ronda Pilipinas International 2014 on Monday.
The 25-year-old Feng, the reigning Chinese Taipei national champion, finished the 144.4-kilometer stage from Amadeo in Cavite to San Pablo City in Laguna in three hours, 27 minutes and 48 seconds, winning the final sprint against Filipino Nelson Martin, who checked in two seconds later.
PLDT-Maynilad's Rustom Lim beat Army's Marvin Tapic and Roadbike's Spanish reinforcement Edgar Nieto for third place although the three finished with the same time of 3:28.13.
"It was cold back home so I didn't really get to train hard. That's why I'm happy to win here even though I'm not fully ready," said Feng.
Joven kept the red jersey by sticking with his pursuers in the peloton. The 7-Eleven rider has an aggregate clocking of 10:36.27, just two seconds ahead of Cycleline-Butuan Mindanao's Reimon Lapaza, while Frenchman Peter Pouly of Infinite-Singha remained in third, under two minutes behind.
"I knew I will be a marked man that's why I just try to keep up with the rest and just play a waiting game and wait for my chance to come," said Joven, from Iriga City, Camarines Sur.
Rounding out the top 10 in the overall individual classification were Oscar Rindole (10:39.47), Roadbike's Marcelo Felipe (10:40.11), Cycleline's Vicmar Vicente, second edition winner Mark Galedo of 7-Eleven (10:40.20), first Ronda king Santy Barnachea of Navy-Standard (10:40.56), Daiki Yasuhara of Japan's Matrix Powertag (10:40.59) and PLDT-Maynilad's Ronald Oranza (10:41.05).
Cycleline Butuan Mindanao grabbed the overall team lead with a time of 31:57.33, ahead of 7-11 (31:58.12) and Navy-Standard (32:06.49) in the event presented by LBC and sponsored MVP Sports Foundation, Petron, NLEX, Maynilad, PLDT and Mitsubishi, Versa 2 Way Radio and Standard Insurance, with minor sponsor Air Asia Zest. The race is sanctioned by PhilCycling and backed by Shimano and Cannondale bikes, the Department of Tourism and Philippine National Police chief Allan Purisima.
Stage Four is a 110-km ride from San Pablo to Lucena.