BAGUIO CITY: Mark John Lexer Galedo made his most significant attack when it mattered most, finishing second in the extremely crucial stage to become the second Filipino to win the Le Tour de Filipinas.
Galedo, a two-time winner of the local Tour, joined the honor roll of the only International Cycling Union (UCI) race in the country, finishing a strong second in the 134-km roller-coaster Stage Four from Bayombong City to the Summer Capital behind Laos’s Ariya Phounsavath.
Phounsavath, 22, the reigning Southeast Asian Games champion riding for the CCN Continental Team of Brunei, won in four hours, 32 minutes and 42 seconds, grabbing the lead from Galedo in the last 15 kilometers to finish a minute and 14 seconds ahead of the Filipino stalwart of the 7-Eleven Continental Team.
But Galedo hoisted the biggest trophy in the end, dislodging two riders of the OCBC Singaporean team from the top two in the general classification, finishing the four-day, 616.10-kilometer race that started in Clark in 17:12:05, 1:03 ahead of runner-up and first leg winner Eric Timothy Sheppard of the Singaporean team and 4:12 in front of Alireza Asgharzadeh of the Iranian Tabriz squad.
“I’m happy for myself and my team. It’s for our countrymen,” said Galedo, 28, who was sixth in last year’s race won by Mizbani Iranag Ghader of Iran. Besides winning $2,710, he also earned 53 UCI points that catapulted hima to the top 30 in the Asian rankings, making him eligible for more top-caliber international races.
Singaporean Go Choon Huat, who wore yellow jersey for the last two days with a 3:33 lead over Galedo, the second stage winner, going into the final lap, reared his weakness in the climb over the Cordilleras and, finishing 16th place in the stage and falling 11th overall, 12:57 behind the race.