El Joshua Cariño topped Stage Five even as his Navy-Standard Insurance teammates Ronald Oranza and Jan Paul Morales remained first and second overall in the Ronda Pilipinas 2018 presented by LBC that started in Echague, Isabela and ended at the San Jose City Hall in San Jose, Nueva Ecija on Thursday.
Cariño, 24, was practically handed the lap victory—a 179.4-km lap—as reward for towing the early breakaway group and making the move in the final six kilometers that led to an all-Navy finish with him taking first and Oranza and Morales second and third with identical clockings of four hours, six minutes and 58 seconds.
The Mangaldan, Pangasinan native thus became the third Navy to win a stage in this year’s race after Oranza ruled the first stages in Vigan and Pagudpud over the weekend and Morales reigned supreme in Stage Four in Isabela.
Cris Joven of Army-Bicycology topped Stage Three in Tuguegarao.
“They already have lap victories, so maybe they want me to win one,” said Cariño, who now has four lap wins in Ronda, in Filipino.
It was Cariño who lured Go for Gold Developmental team’s Roel Quitoy and Go for Gold’s George Oconer and eventually zapped their energy entering the final stretch to get the lap win and allow the 1-2-3 Navy finish.
“I just tested them (Quitoy and Morales) and I’m happy they bit into our trap,” said Carino.
Because of their podium finish, Oranza solidified his grip of the lead with an aggregate time of 17:40:13 while Morales, who is seeking a third straight title, remained at second with a total clocking of 17:45:12.
Jay Lampawog of Go for Gold Development is at No. 3 in 17:48:56, Cris Joven of Army-Bicycology at No. 4 in 17:51:16 and Ronald Lomotos of Navy-Standard’s Ronald Lomotos at No. 5 in 17:51:35.
Rounding up the top 10 were CCN Superteam’s Irish Valenzuela (17:52:34), Go for Gold Developmental’s Ronnel Hualda (17:52:34), Navy-Standard’s John Mark Camingao (17:54:26) and Rudy Roque (17:55:04) and Team Franzia’s Leonel Dimaano (17:55:10).
Navy has also continued to pull away in the overall team race as it now has 70:54:59, or almost half an hour ahead of closest pursuer Go for Gold Developmental team with 71:24:25 in the race presented by LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation, Filinvest, 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.
Army-Bicycology was at third with 71:41:45.
Oranza will continue to don the red LBC leader’s jersey in the 111.8km Stage Six today starting at the San Jose City Hall and ending at the Tarlac Provincial Capitol.
“If we continue to stick with the game plan, we’ll be okay,” said the 26-year-old Oranza, who hails from Villasis, Pangasinan.