Aussies nab 2nd straight leg as foreigners dominate Le Tour Stage 4

JR Isaga
Aussies nab 2nd straight leg as foreigners dominate Le Tour Stage 4
Jesse Coyle rules the grueling Legazpi-Sorsogon leg after teammate Samuel Hill topped Stage 3

ALBAY, Bicol – Foreigners flexed dominance at the 10th Le Tour de Filipinas as Aussie cyclist Jesse Coyle roared to a Stage 4 win in Legazpi City here on Monday, June 17.

Feeding off the momentum of teammate Samuel Hill’s first-ever Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)-sanctioned win in Stage 3 last Sunday, Coyle broke away in the last stretch of the 183.7-kilometer leg to get his inaugural UCI stage win as well after a grueling 4 hours, 28 minutes and 41 seconds of competition.

Eventual 2nd placer Muhammad Shaiful Adlan Mohd Shukri (4:28:41) of Malaysian powerhouse Team Sapura Cycling was right on Coyle’s tail, but barely got outsped at the very end.

German import Mario Vogt then completed Team Sapura’s double podium finish by leading the peloton 32 seconds later (4:29:13).

“I just put it all on the line in that last 20K and it really paid off,” he said in the post-race scrum.

“First UCI win on my second UCI race and my first with Nero Bianchi, so it’s awesome to get a result and for Sam to get a result yesterday. It’s amazing for such a strong field. We worked so hard.”

Aidan James Mendoza (4:29:13) led the Filipino contingent at 9th place, albeit as an import of Singapore-based NEX Cycling Team.

Philippine team member Junrey Navarra fell out of the early lead group and settled for 10th (4:29:13) while Stage 3 2nd placer Dominic Perez fell to 11th (4:29:13) this time around.

Navarra finished 1st in the Stage 4 opening intermediate sprint at Buhatan, Sorsogon and 3rd in the final sprint zone at Casiguran, but ran out of gas as the eventual podium finishers took control in the last stretch.

Mohd Zamri Saleh of Malaysia’s Terranganu INC TSG Cycling Team, Jamalidin Novardianto of Indonesia’s PGN Road Cycling Team, Warut Paekrathok and Setthawut Yordsuwan of the Thailand team and Mohamad Saari Amri Abd Rasim of Team Sapura got the 4th to 8th spots for the stage to complete the top 10.

Stage 1 winner Jeroen Meijiers of China’s Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team is still the overall GC leader at 17:03:19 – 45 seconds apart from the nearest purple jersey challenger heading to the final stage of the tour on Tuesday, June 18.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Felipe of Team 7-Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines is still the lone Filipino in the individual general classification (GC) at 10th place with a total time of 17:05:55 so far.

Stage 4 gave the riders their first taste of Sorsogon, the Luzon mainland’s southernmost province where Stage 5 will also pass through. It started off with a 2.2-km King of the Mountain climb at Forest Lake Memorial Park in Legazpi City, which was won by Jonel Carcueva of Go for Gold Philippines.

The route then turned to Castilla, Sorsogon at the 28-km mark and passed through the forests of aptly-named Gubat and Casiguran before finishing back to Legazpi.

Stage 5 will be a 138.1-km lap around the towns of Pilar and Donsol, Sorsogon before circling back to Legazpi City for the 5th and final finish. –


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