Morales rules Stage 3, seizes front.
Byline: June Navarro
CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Jan Paul Morales of Navy-Standard Insurance ruled the third stage Tuesday and strengthened his hold on the lead in the Mindanao leg of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas at Pueblo de Oro here.
Morales, a seasoned track specialist from Marikina City, nosed out teammate Daniel Ven CariAo in a sprint finish, clocking one hour, nine minutes and 23.64 seconds after completing a one-hour criterium plus three laps over the 2.40 km course.
We didn't want an accident to happen again, said the 31-year-old who hurt his right shoulder and thigh after bumping into teammate Ronald Oranza as they negotiated a hard turn in Stage 2.
CariAo posted an identical time with Morales, with fellow Navy rider Rudy Roque and Oranza, who earlier won the first two stages, finishing third and fourth, a split-second slower than the winner.
It feels great to finally win a stage, said Morales, who wound up second to Oranza in the two previous laps.
He widened his overall lead to 39 points, 10 clear of second-placer and Navy team captain Lloyd Lucien Reynante.
Oranza has 27 points in third spot followed by CariAo and Roque, both with 25, Navy's Joel Calderon (14), Jhon Mark Camingao (11), El Joshua CariAo (9), Arnold Marco of Team LBC/MVP Sports Foundation (7) and James Paolo Ferfas of Team LCC Lutuyan lay 10th (6) after three stages of the Tour presented by LBC and LBC Express and sanctioned by PhilCycling.
The three-leg multistage bikathon takes a breather today before its resumption Thursday, a 21.7 km Stage 4 individual time trial in scenic Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.