TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines – The Netherlands’ Jeroen Meijers of China-based Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team finished first in Stage 1 of the 10th Le Tour de Filipinas, clocking in at 3 hours, 6 minutes and 59 seconds here on Friday, June 14.
Taiyuan Miogee also clinched the top spot in the Stage Team Classification, combining for 9:28:42 throughout the 129.5-kilometer long loop near Taal Lake and Balayan Bay.
It was the second podium finish of the 26-year-old rider after placing 3rd in the China’s Tour of Taiyuan Stage 1 two weeks ago before finishing 3rd overall.
Eritrean rider Daniel Habtemichael finished 3rd for Team 7-Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines with an official time of 3:09:06 while teammate Marcelo Felipe clocked in at 10th as the fastest Filipino cyclist with a time of 3:09:25.
It wasn’t the best of runs for the Filipinos as two Philippine national team members bottomed out right out of the gate.
Defending champion El Joshua Cariño was tagged out of the time limit (OTL) at 62nd place with a time of 3:35:36 while teammate Ronald Oranza finished dead last at 65th, both reportedly due to cramps.
Other national team members fared better, although still far from optimal finish times.
Junrey Navarra crossed the finish line at 20th place (3:12:21) while Jhon Mark Camingao and Jan Paul Morales came in at 24th (3:15:15) and 25th (3:15:25), respectively.
Angus Lyons of Australia’s Oliver’s Real Food Racing finished 2nd in the opening stage (3:08:38) while Sandy Nur Hasan (3:09:14) and Aiman Cahyadi (3:09:21) of Indonesia’s PGN Road Cycling Team, Kohei Yokotuka (3:09:21) and Naoya Yoshioka (3:09:23) of Japan’s Team Ukyo, Muhsin Al Redha (3:09:25) of Malaysia’s Team Sapura Cycling and Taiyuan Miogee’s Li Shuai (3:09:25) complete the 4th to 9th spots.
The national team now aims to bounce back along with fellow Filipino teams in a Stage 2 sprint from Pagbilao Park, Quezon to Daet, Camarines Norte starting on Saturday, June 15.
The second of 5 stages will run for 194.9 kilometers, the longest stretch of the entire event. – Rappler.com