Tour Pilipinas Stage 2: Double whammy by Quirimit

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    Double whammy by Quirimit Apr. 27, 2003 By June Navarro Philippine Daily Inquirer www.inq7.net

    NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur -- Arnel Quirimit solidified his claim to the yellow jersey of leadership
    Sunday by spearheading the Tanduay Distillers to a swashbuckling victory in the Team Time Trial
    serving as second lap of the Tour Pilipinas 2003 bikathon.

    His 27-year-old legs still oozing with power, Quirimit, the first-lap winner, supplied the
    inspiration and killing pace as the Distillers came up with a blistering run that saw them overtake
    the Postmen of Enrique Domingo, who were sent off five minutes ahead of them.

    The Distillers finished with an accumulated time of eight hours, eight minutes and 13 seconds for
    the 91.2-km drive from Daraga town in Albay province to here as they took the lead in the overall
    race for the one-million-peso top team prize.

    More importantly, Quirimit's time of two hours three minutes and three seconds which was added to
    his clocking in the first stage, boosted him out front in the individual race.

    From a four-second lead, Quirimit emerged with a hefty four-minute, three-second advantage over
    Santi Barnachea, whose Bowling Gold squad finished second for the day.

    Merculio Ramos of Samsung, second behind Quirimit the other day, dropped to third, 4:32 behind,
    followed by Eusebio QuiƱones (5:53 behind) and Placido Valdez (6:08 behind).

    "I'm not worried about them. They should worry about me," said Quirimit in Tagalog as he exuded
    confidence in going all the way in the 15-lap, 18-day event celebrating the return of multi-stage
    cycling since 1998.

    Organizers decided to do away with the old rule in team time trials where the time of the
    fourth-finishing rider becomes the clocking of the team and this led to sizzling runs that exposed
    the strength of Quirimit's squad.

    "Madalas kasi hindi na lumalaban iyong nasa huli. Pinapabayaan na lang nilang kumayod iyong apat sa
    unahan. Para maiwasan iyon, counted na lahat ng oras nila (It used to be a race only for the four
    strongest riders of a team, so we decided to make everybody's time count)," said Tour Pilipinas race
    manager Paquito Rivas.

    "We were only bent on supporting Arnel but when we overtook Domingo's team we decided to go all the
    way," said Tanduay coach Hector Villanueva, a former Tour veteran, in Tagalog.

    Bowling Gold stood only 28.97 seconds behind Tanduay in the team race with Patrol 117, the day's
    third placer, winding up 1:54.36 off the lead.

    Pagcor remained fourth followed by Eco Savers, Samsung, VAT Riders, Intel, Drug Busters, Postmen,
    PLDT-NDD and Gilbey's Island Punch.

    Among the favorites, it was Carlo Guieb, who made the most significant move as the former two-time
    champion advanced to eighth,
    9:17 behind Quirimit, an Army corporal who hails from Pozzorubio town, Pangasinan province.

    Warren Davadilla, who ruled the last bikathon in 1998 where Quirimit placed sixth overall, was in
    18th place, 12:20 behind, while another two-time winner, Renato Dolosa, stood in 28th place, 14:14
    off the lead.

    Quirimit, ably supported by Ericson Obosa, Dominador Jacob and Joseph Millanes, overhauled Domingo
    and the Postmen in the last 30 kilometers.

    Domingo, fifth place overall in the l996 Tour, said his teammates -- Reynaldo Navarro, Wilfredo
    Calosa, Renato Sambrano, Rene Esteban, Sherwin Carrera and Arnold Marcelo -- were just tired after
    Saturday's kick-off stage.

    Another easy lap awaits the 84 cyclists in Monday's 98-km third stage ending in the town of Daet,
    Camarines Norte, although they will have to do some climbing in the famous Bitukang Manok stretch
    right after leaving the boundary of Camarines Sur province.

    -- --------------- Quirimit, Tanduay take control By Clyde Mariano Manila Bulletin www.mb.com.ph

    NAGA CITY (Via PLDT) - Tanduay ruled the team time trial stage yesterday and zoomed to the lead in
    the Tour Pilipinas 2003 after the second lap that started in Daraga and finished at the Rizal Plaza
    in front of the Naga Cathedral.

    Powered by first lap winner Arnel Quirimit and teammates Ericson Obosa, Dominador Jacod, and Joseph
    Millanes, the Rhum Riders negotiated the relatively easy 91.2 kilometers with a time of two hours
    and 2.3 minutes to move up the team standings with a time aggregate of 26:56.27.47.

    Tanduay dislodged early leader Patroll 117 which fell to third at third at 26:58.21.84 after
    finishing fifth on the combined efforts of Ryan Mendoza, Reinhard Gorantes, Bernanrd Luzon and
    Eusebio Quinones.

    Bowling Gold came in second at 2:03.09 behind Rolando Pagnanawon, Michael Gonowon, Santi Barnachea
    and Jefffey Talaver to move up to second overall with 26:56.56.45.

    Only the clocking of the top four finishers will count for the team.

    "Ako ang nag tranko dahil si Eric Tolentino ay na flat ang gulong sa unang 30 kilometers at sina
    Jesus Garcia at Oscar Espiritu ay wala sa kundisyon," said Quirimit.

    "Kailangan sakripisyo at tulong-tulong para manalo. Ito ang kailangan para makuha namin ang
    tagumpay. Ang mahalaga sa amin ay ang tagumpay ng team dahil malaki ang premyo,." noted the
    27-year-old Pangasinense rider from Pozzurobio.

    Quirimit, who won the first lap in Legazpi City, padded his lead to four minutes on second running
    Santi Barnachea with a two-day time of
    9:1.1. Barnachea, the reigning Tour of Calabarzon champion and skipper of Bowling Gold,
    timed 6:38.49.

    Barnachea dislodged Merculio Ramos, who fell behind at third at
    9:2.18, four minutes and 32 seconds behind Quirimit.

    Eusebio Quinonez, who placed third in the first lap, dropped to fourth in 6:40.40, and Placido
    Valdez also fell behind at fifth in
    9:2.1. Ronald Gorrantes kept his seventh position at 6:43.49.

    Pagnanawon, the 1986 champion from Talisay Cebu, also climbed up to sixth overall at 6:42.12, 7.25
    minutes behind the leader.

    Incredibly, Pagnanawon, the tuba gatherer from Cebu popularly known as "Boyaks" in the local cycling
    circle, continued to display strength and stamina despite his advancing age.

    "Kaya ko pa. Malakas pa tayo at puede pang sumabay sa mga bata," Pagnanawon, the oldest in the 84
    -man tour caravan at 44 years old, said after powering his Bowling Gold to second in the team
    time trial.

    Quirimit's team overtook the Postmen in the last 30 kilometers approaching the town of Pili
    and finished some three minutes ahead. The Postmen, which finished a dismal 11th in 2:08.08 on
    the efforts of Enrique Domingo, Arnold Marcelo, Wilfredo Calosa and Reynaldo Navarro, are at
    10th overall.

    This was the first time the result in the team time trial will count against the overall individual
    time. The purpose is to encourage the whole team to exert more efforts.

    "Ginawa namin para pumukpok lahat sila. Amg ibang miyembro ng team pa pitik -pitik pag four best
    time ang kailangan. Ngayon kayud lahat sila," explained race manager Paquito Rivas.

    Renato Dolosa, the 1992 and 95 champion, frustrated his fellow Bicolanos when his team Gilby's
    Island Punch, checked a dismal eight in 2:07.23 and are at 12th overall in 27:37.49.80.

    Dolosa suffered a flat tire at the halfway mark in Polangui, the last town in Albay going to
    Camarines Sur province.

    Hostilities resume Monday for the third lap of the 15 stages bikathon sponsored by Longines
    Swissdigi,oficial timer, Lipovitan official energy drink, Accel official outfittter and Selle
    Italia. The third lap is 98 kilometers run from Naga to Daet, Camarines Norte.
     
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