Brunei rider wins tough Le Tour Bayombong-Baguio stage

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


BRUNEI'S Ariya Phounsaveth came out from nowhere to emerge as the winner in the toughest fourth and final stage of the Le Tour de Filipinas that saw some 15 local and foreign teams crossing Burnham Park Lake Drive.

Phounsaveth of Brunei's CCN Continental Cycling Team topped the Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya to Baguio City leg with an official time of 4 hours, 32 minutes, and 42 seconds after ranking 34th in the Cabanatuan to Bayombong leg.

Filipino Mark John Lexer Galledo of the 7-Eleven Continental Team came in second after clocking in 4:33:56 after leading the peloton of bikers in the last 20-kilometers of the race, while Alizera Asgharzadeh of TSR Continental Team came in third with 4:35:23.

Galledo also won the Best Filipino Rider award for stage 4, a feat he duplicated during stage two where he crossed the Subic Bay to Cabanatuan leg first with a total time of 4 hours, 14 minutes, and 34 seconds, together with teammate Chris Joven who snatched the third place finish with 4:15:21.

The 7-Eleven Continental Team also bagged the Best Philippine Team award after topping other teams.

Aside from Galledo's team 7-Eleven, the other Filipino squad who participated in the event are Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance headed by three-time winner Santy Barnachea, 2009 champion Joel Calderon and Lloyd Lucien Reynante.

This year’s foreign teams include TSR of Iran, Team Ukyo and Aisan Racing of Japan, Polygon Sweet Nice of Ireland, KSPO of South Korea, PT Pegasus of Indonesia, CCN of Brunei Terengganu Cycling of Malaysia and OCBC Cycling of Singapore.

The United Arab Emirates national team has also entered the event along with Atilla Cycling Club of Mongolia, Satalyst Giant Racing Club of Australia and Track Team Astana of Kazakhstan.

Stage 4, Bayombong to Baguio leg, considered the hardest route going to the city in local cycling, is a 132.7-kilometer challenge entering the country’s Summer Capital through the Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountain ranges.

Now on its 5th staging, Le Tour de Filipinas is the only Philippine cycling tournament duly sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale, Philippine Cycling Federation, and Asian Cycling Federation.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 25, 2014.

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