Tour Pilipinas Stage 4: Red-hot Davadilla strikes again

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Z Bernard, May 4, 2003.

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    Z Bernard Guest

    Red-hot Davadilla strikes again By Abac Cordero The Philippine Star 04/30/2003

    LUCENA CITY (Via PLDT) - As expected, or as predicted, a lot of things - good and bad - happened in
    yesterday's fourth stage of the 2003 Tour Pilipinas.

    One of the good ones: Warren Davadilla, a very small rider with a very big kick, posted his second
    straight stage victory and revved up his hopes for a second straight Tour title.

    One of the bad ones: Arnel Quirimit, the winner of the opening stage, suffered a flat tire early and
    ran a flat race the rest of the way, in the process losing his hold of the overall lead and whatever
    momentum he had going into the race.

    "Minalas," Quirimit said after the race. "Pero mahaba pa naman. Maganda na din at nang maka-relax
    ng kaunti."

    Davadilla, the 1998 winner of the Marlboro Tour, staged a daring, one- man breakaway along the
    treacherous climb in Atimonan and finished the 207 km race from Daet at least two minutes ahead of
    his closest pursuers.

    With his big display of superb riding skills, Davadilla jumped from 16th to third overall. He won
    the stage in five hours, three minutes and 48 seconds, way ahead of Paulo Manapol and Frederick
    Feliciano who came in at 5:06.13.

    "Nagkaroon ng pagkakataon sa ahon ng Tatlong Eme kaya kinuha ko at inilayo. Nagsisi pa nga ako ng
    kaunti dahil 25 kilometro pa pala ang layo sa finish. Pero nakakain at yun ang importante," said

    A major shake-up took place in the overall standings with Merculio Ramos emerging as the new overall
    leader with an aggregate time of 14 hours, five minutes and 46 seconds, after answering the starting
    gun in third place and more than five minutes behind Quirimit and Santi Barnachea.

    "Nagbantayan kasi silang dalawa sa likod ng malaking grupo kaya nakatakas ako. Plano ko din talaga
    gumalaw ngayon," said Ramos hours after the race.

    Ramos will answer the starting gun for today's fifth stage, an equally challenging 175.4km race from
    here to breezy Tagaytay, as the new leader with the yellow jersey on. Only 83 riders remain after
    the withdrawal of Nicanor Ramos who was sent back to Manila with a chicken fox.

    "Okay lang. Masubukan naman," he said.

    Veteran Placido Valdez, now 33, brought like back into his bid, finishing seventh in the stage and
    moving to second from fourth overall, 99 seconds behind Ramos, a member of the RP team like
    Davadilla and Quirimit.

    Lloyd Reynante, carrying the name of his legendary father Maui, also made a big jump from eighth to
    fourth overall, like his partner Rhyan Tanguilig, now in fifth from ninth overall. They have decided
    to stick together for the fourth straight day and are just five minutes off the pace with a lot of
    opportunities yet to come.

    Quirimit will have a lot to think about in his hotel room as he fell to sixth overall, 5:13 behind,
    all because of a flat front tire he suffered barely two kilometers away from the starting point.

    "Matagal dumating ang pamalit na gulong. Halos tatlong minuto kaya sila nakalayo ng husto," he said.
    "Pero talagang ganyan. Sport lang. Mahaba ang hinabol namin ng teammates ko na nagpaiwan pero
    pagdating naman sa malaking grupo, wala na nga sila Warren."

    Little did he know that Ramos was still in that big group, covered by a sea of riders.

    "Hindi lang niya ako nakita pero alam kong na-flat nga siya. Pagdating niya, tinabihan naman siya ni
    Barnachea sa likod kaya ako nakatakas," added Ramos.

    Barnachea was another big loser for the day, falling down all the way to 15th place from
    second overall.

    Rolando Pagnanawon, the 44-year-old former champion, also had a big dip in the standings, from sixth
    to 27th, and now more than 20 minutes behind.

    Carlo Guieb, a two-time winner, fell from 10th to 21st while Renato Dolosa, also a great champion,
    smiled crossing the finish, knowing he did a good job in climbing to 13th from 28th.


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