Veteran internationalists stamp class in nationals

Marcelo Felipe, Marc Ryan Lago, Ismael Gorospe Jr. and Marella Salamat pedaled with wits and legs chiseled to toughness by their experience in international races to rule the road races of the PhilCycling 2019 National Road Cycling Championships on Wednesday in Tagaytay City.

Felipe, captain of continental team 7-Eleven Cliqq Road Bike Philippines and third Best Asian Rider in the 2018 Le Tour de Langkawi, soloed to the finish line in three hours, 11 minutes and .212 second to top the 132.08-km Men’s Road Race that started and ended at the Praying Hands Monument on Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay City.

Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance’s Ronald Oranza, meanwhile, beat another 7-Eleven rider, individual time trial winner John Mark Lexer Galedo, in a sprint finish for the silver medal. Oranza clocked 3:12:47.015 and Galedo crossed two seconds later in the race presented by Standard Insurance, MVP Sports Foundation and Tagaytay City.

Go For Gold’s Lago, who finished fifth in the Men Junior ITT of the Asian Cycling Championships in Uzbekistan last April, was also unmolested in his category’s 91.35-km event, clocking 2:24:26.911, beating by close to three minutes Rench Michael Bondoc and Efren Reyes, who crossed almost at the same time.

Gorospe, a member of the Go For Gold continental team, on the other hand, had to nose out ITT champion Nichol Pareja to snatch the Men Under-23 gold medal of the championships organized by the PhilCycling headed by Rep. Abraham Tolentino and managed by Ube Media Inc.-Le Tour de Filipinas and supported by One LGC, Air21, Go For Gold, Bike X Singapore, 7-Eleven and the Highway Patrol Group of the Philipine National Police Region 4A command.

Gorospe crossed in 3:13:36.60, only 39-hundredths of a second ahead of Pareja. Daniel Ven Carino, also of Go Gor Gold, finished some six seconds later to settle for the bronze medal.

Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance, meanwhile, extended its domination of the women’s races with Salamat, the 2015 Southeast Asian Games ITT gold medalist, edging teammate and ITT titlist Jermyn Prado in the Women Elite 91.35-km race.

Salamat clocked 2:29:53.418 with Prado finishing a wheel behind. Melisa Jaroda was third in 2:49:31.560.

Standard Insurance reasserted its domination in the younger age categories with Kate Yasmin Velasco (Under 23) and Maritono Krogg (Women Junior) sweeping the championships.

Velasco crossed in 2:49:36.378, beating Shagne Paola Yaoyao (49.627 behind) and Mhay Ann Iinda (53.578 behind). Krogg (2:50:35.042), on the other hand, handily defeated Nicole Quinones (11.249 behind) and Marlen Marasigan (5:32.485 behind).