IRANIAN Mirsamad “Pourseyedi” Golakhour of the Azad University team outraced local rider Cris Joven to win the 151.3-kilometer third stage, from Iba, Zambales to Lingayen, Pangasinan, of the 2011 Le Tour Filipinas on Monday.
But his teammate Emami Rahim, the opening day winner, kept his hold of the yellow jersey, the symbol of overall leadership. Rahim boasts of a three-day aggregate log of 9:05:51.
The 26-year-old Golakhour from the town of Tabriz in Iran has a time log of 3:37:12 to snatch from Joven of American Vinyl, the US$800 lap prize plus a 13 points bonus.
“There was no problem from start to finish. It was not so hot out there and I enjoyed the weather very much. So I attacked from start to the finish line,” said Golakhour, who won a lap in the 2011 Langkawi Tour in Malaysia.
Joven, who posted an identical time log with Golakhour, cruised neck-to-neck with the Iranian down the stretch but eventually slid back to about a bike-length behind when they crossed the finish line along Maramba Boulevard.
Following them were 48 riders who posted similar time records led by Erickson Obosa of 7-Eleven, New Zealander Rico Rogers of Giant Kenda, Bryant Sepno of Air 21 and Malaysian Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin of TSG.
Golakhour’s victory pushed the Azad University team to the top of the team classification, overtaking 7-Eleven in the overall lead.
“He [Golakhour] is very fast. He was able to maintain that 48 to 50-km. an hour speed,” said Joven. The 61 survivors of the race are set to test their mettle in the hardest final lap of the tour—the climb to Baguio City via Kennon road.