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Oranza, Navymen retain 'Ronda' advantage, brace for crucial mountain stages


PHL Navy Standard Insurance's Ronald Oranza still remains ther prime target by pursuers after winning Stage 7 of the 2022 LBC Ronda Pilipinas in Baler, Aurora Thursday (photo from Ronda Pilipinas Official page)

by Mark Mañez

Manila - Ronald Oranza retained his LBC Red Jersey as he continued padding his slim lead heading into the 2022 LBC Ronda Pilipinas homestretch, Thursday in Baler Aurora.

Excellent Noodles' Ryan Tugawin, meanwhile, took honors in the 174.5 km.- Tarlac-Baler route, snipping the tape at 4:31:16. PHL Navy Standard Insurance's El Joshua Cariño took second, despite having identical times with Tugawin but was outsprinted in the final stretch.

However, much joy came through as Felipe Marcelo of Team Nueva Ecija completed the podium finishers, just two seconds behind Tugawin and Cariño. This also marked their team's first podium finish since the event's kickoff in Sorsogon.

PHL Navy Standard Insurance, all the while, silenced its doubters as they widened its gap from its pursuers in the team classification standings.

The Navymen now held up an insurmountable 0:13:16 advantage over Excellent Noodles and third-running Go For Gold (+0:25:11).

Oranza, on the other hand, still holds a precarious 42 second advantage over Excellent's Jan Paul Morales and almost three minutes against Jonel Carcueva. 

Meanwhile, the organizers expressed its gratitude in providing the necessary medical assistance after Xyrus Dela Cruz of Team Nueva Ecija suffered a freak accident during Stage 2's Team event run in Sorsogon.

Stage 8 will cover 170.4 kilometers, departing from Baler, in Aurora province all the way to Echague in Isabela.

Follow him on Twitter: @MAManez_DPH16

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