Dutch rules 1st stage; Cariño, Oranza out
Dutch rider Jeroen Meijers raises his hands in victory after topping the Le Tour de Filipinas Tagaytay-Tagaytay loop opening stage.
Ernie Peñaredondo
Dutch rules 1st stage; Cariño, Oranza out
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2019 - 12:00am

TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines — Dutch Jeroen Meijers of Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team of China displayed impressive mountain-climbing skills as he ruled the 10th Le Tour de Filipinas 129.5-kilometer Stage One where two leading local riders kissed their title hopes right away in missing the cutoff time.

Defending champion El Joshua Cariño suffered cramps while teammate Ronald Oranza complained of dehydration from diarrhea in their misfortunes that shocked almost everybody.

Meijers, 26, hung tough approaching the ascent before making a move in the steep climb in Sampaloc Road in Talisay to claim the opening stage starting and ending at the Praying Hands Monument here in three hours, six minutes, 59 seconds.

It took Meijers, coming off a third-place finish in the Tour of Taiyuan in China two weeks ago, just six days to size up the challenging Stage One.

“I’ve been here six days and did the climb two times and knew the last one was the steepest,” said Meijers. “I waited long time and almost at the end of the climb I made my move.”

Aussie Angus Lyons of Oliver’s Real Food Racing of Australia checked in at second in 3:08:38 while Eritrean Daniel Habtemichael of 7Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines came in third in 3:09:06.

7Eleven skipper Marcelo Felipe emerged the best Filipino finisher at No. 10 in 3:09:25.

PGN Road Cycling Team of Indonesia’s Sandy Nur Hasan (3:09:14) and Aiman Cahyadi (3:09:21), Team Ukyo of Japan’s Kohei Yokotuka (3:09:21) and Naoya Yoshioka (3:09:23), Team Sapura Cycling of Malaysia’s Muhsin Al Redha (3:09:25) and Taiyuan Mogee’s Li Shuai (3:95:25) rounded out the top 10.

Cariño, expected to do well in this five-stage International Cycling Union-sanctioned race being the reigning titlist, and Oranza, another local favorite, failed to make the curfew time and were automatically eliminated.

 “I had cramps because I wasn’t able to practice for four days,” said Cariño. 

Oranza, who topped another UCI race in Ronda, complained of severe hydration caused by diarrhea and fever he suffered after a race in Alabang last week.

“I have no power, that’s why I had cramps,” he said.

With Cariño and Oranza gone, the Phl team was reduced to three riders in Jan Paul Morales, Junrey Navarra and Jhon Mark Camingao.

Meijers wears the purple jersey symbolic of the general classification leadership in today’s 194.9-km Stage Two from Pagbilao, Quezon to Daet, Camarines Norte.

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