July 19, 2018, 6:02 am
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Oranza dominant to the end

ROLAND Oranza officially crowned himself the new champion of the Ronda Pilipinas 2018 presented by LBC by coming through with one of the most dominant performances in the race’s eight-year history.

Already assured of the crown and his place in Ronda history, Oranza, of Villasis, Pangasinan, still went at it he did the whole race yesterday and ended up second behind Stage 12 criterium winner Jan Paul Morales and ahead of Junrey Navarra in an all Navy-Standard Insurance podium finish, clocking one hour, 28 minutes and 15 seconds.

He spread his arms in triumphs as he passed the finish line before a sizeable crowd at the Filinvest, Alabang yesterday.

After 12 grueling stages that started in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Oranza clocked a total of 34:11:23 to humble the field, including Morales, the winner for the last two editions who finished second, about 11 minutes behind in 34:22:56.

Oranza was joined in the celebration by a big crowd that included Ronda Executive Project director Moe Chulani and Standard Insurance president Ernesto Echauz.

For his effort in the race presented by LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation, Filinvest, Philippine Rabbit, CCN, Petron, Versa.ph, 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, Oranza pocketed a cool P1 million plus P300,000 worth of Boy Kanin franchise and a beautifully-crafted trophy and a place in the exclusive club of Ronda champions that include two-time winners Morales and Santy Baranchea of Team Franzia, Irish Valenzuela of CCN Superteam, Mac Galedo and Butuan City’s Reimon Lapaza.

“I can’t feel anything but happiness,” said Oranza, 25.

Domination is the word that best described Oranza’s effort as he took the overall lead as early as the second leg and posted nine podium finishes, including victories in Stages 1 in Vigan, 2 in Pagudpud and 7 in Tarlac. He was just a class above anyone else.

Navara, 26, a proud son of General Santos, wound up third overall in 34:33:06 while taking home his fourth CCN King of the Mountain trophy while Morales added the Petron Sprint King award to his growing collection of trophies.

Navy emerged as the undisputed winner in the Versa team race, clocking 135:13:47 ahead of Army-Bicycology, a team sponsored by former Philippine Sports Commission and Games and Amusement Board chair Eric Buhain (136:56:19) and Go for Gold Developmental team (136:59:26).

Go for Gold Developmental team’s Jay Lampawog snatched the only award that Navy failed to win by becoming the MVP Sports Foundation Young Rider winner.

Go for Gold’s George Oconer finished fourth overall in 34:38:15, Navy’s Jhon Mark Camingao fifth in 34:39:30 and Army-Bicycology’s Cris Joven sixth in 34:41:21.

Rounding up the top 10 were Go for Gold’s Boots Ryan Cayubit (34:43:50), Navy’s El Joshua Carino (34:45:32), Go for Gold Developmental team’s Lampawog (34:48:03) and Navy’s Rudy Roque (34:49:52).
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