Tour Pilipinas Stage 7: Calm returns, Domingo takes 7th

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

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  1. Z Bernard

    Z Bernard Guest

    Domingo takes 7th lap as calm returns Manila Bulletin

    OLONGAPO CITY - The tumult is over. A day after a huge Labor Day crowd in Calamba threw the Tour
    Pilipinas into shambles, serenity and calm returned for Friday's seventh stage from Marikina.

    With individual and team clockings carried over from the fifth stage following the decision to
    scratch the sixth lap results when a major directional mess sent cyclists scrambling to different
    routes at the Laguna-Batangas junction, the Tour regained some semblance of order.

    Merculio Ramos retained the yellow jersey for the second straight day, rolling in comfortably behind
    lap winner Enrique Domingo, a fellow national cyclist, Bernard Luzon, Domingo's breakaway partner,
    and a chase group led by three-lap winner Arnel Quirimit.

    Domingo covered the 201.6-kilometer stage in four hours, 48 minutes and 30 seconds, checking in
    eight seconds ahead of Luzon and 15 seconds in front of an assault group that narrowly fell short of
    reeling in the two front-paced riders.

    "Nagkataong kundisyon ngayon. Lagi naman ako kasama sa breakaway kaya lang kinakapos talaga. Pero
    dito, lagi ako nananalo. Nung 1998, ako din ang kumuha ng lap na ito," said the 32-year-old
    Postmen skipper.

    Luzon labored to end the dominance of the national cyclists, engaging Domingo in a sprint to the
    finish, but failed to pull it off.

    "Sinubukan ko. Ang lakas talaga ni Henry (Domingo)," said the Patrol 117 captain.

    Quirimit, whose war of words with fellow RP rider Warren Davadilla highlighted the helter-skelter
    that reigned during the Tagaytay- Marikina stage, backed up his talk with hard-nosed action,
    vaulting from fourth overall to second place, bypassing Davadilla who stumbled from second to
    seventh, 9:41 minutes behind Ramos, after suffering a flat tire on the ash-coated roads of San
    Fernando, Pampanga.

    The entourage takes a breather today before sucking it all in for the
    247.6-kilometer eighth stage from Olongapo to Dagupan, a break hailed by the leaders like rain on a
    long, scorching summer.

    "Nararamdaman ko na rin yung pagod. Kahit saan ako pumunta, laging may nakatutok," said Ramos, a
    perpetual smile on his face. "Buti na lang, rest day na."

    The same thought crossed the minds of Domingo and Luzon as they negotiated the long, lonely highways
    to the finish, a placid run broken only when Quirimit and company loomed from the rear in the final
    20 kilometers.

    "Nung last 25 kilometers, wala na kami. Nasiraan na kami ng loob na makarating pa sa finish line.
    Buti na lang, naka-recover pa. Sabi ko kay Henry, ibuhos na lang namin tutal rest day naman bukas,"
    said Luzon, the Novo Ecijano rider who was blanketed in cheers by his townmates, led by Cabiao Mayor
    Gloria A. Crespo-Gongco, when the tandem rolled by.

    The veteran Placido Valdez, who was with Quirimit, moved up to third overall, 2:41 behind Ramos,
    while Luzon wheeled into fourth and Domingo fifth place.

    In the team competition, Intel bucked the woes of Davadilla to hold on to the lead with an aggregate
    of 93:53:57.91, eight minutes and
    248.87 seconds up on Patrol 117.

    Domingo flashes sprint prowess By Randy Caluag Manila Standard

    OLONGAPO CITY - Tanduay's Arnel Quirimit failed to sustain his ferocious drive in a relatively easy
    and quiet 7th stage but managed to trim the gap between him and overall leader Merculio Ramos of
    Samsung in the individual standings of the Air21 Tour Pilipinas 2003.

    Postmen skipper Enrique Domingo outsprinted Bernard Luzon of Patrol 117 in the final 3 km to submit
    the best time of 4 hours, 48 minutes and 30 seconds in the 201.6-km route from the country's
    shoe-making capital city of Marikina to Olongapo City.

    Domingo will pocket the lap-winning cash prize of P10,000 and is now at fifth place overall. Luzon,
    who settled for the second-best P5,000 prize, is at fourth overall with an aggregate of 23:14:38.

    "Nagkataong kundisyon ngayon. Lagi naman ako kasama sa breakaway, kaya lang kinakapos talaga. Pero
    dito, lagi ako nananalo. Nu'ng 1998, ako din kumuha ng lap na ito," said the 32-year-old Domingo.
    Luzon tried to end the run of the national cyclists in a mad sprint to the finish but could not
    overpower Domingo when it mattered most.

    "Nu'ng last 25 km, wala na kami. Nasiraan na kami ng loob na makarating pa sa finish line. Buti na
    lang, naka-recover pa. Sabi ko kay Henry (Domingo), ibuhos na lang natin, tutal rest day naman
    bukas (Saturday)," said Luzon, the Novo Ecijano, who was cheered on by a crowd led by Cabiao Mayor
    Gloria Crespo-Gongco, cousin of People's Journal sports editor Joe Antonio, when he passed his
    home province.

    Davadilla suffered a flat tire as the chase group entered the border of the dust-blanketed roads of
    San Fernando in Pampanga and failed to recover the rest of the way in this race sponsored by Accel,
    Lipovitan, Longines, BPI-MS, FedEx, Mail and More, San Mig Light, Philtranco and
    Looe-Vittoria-Selle Italia.

    Quirimit, trying to brush aside the swelling, silent feud between him and fellow national player
    Warren Davadilla, reached the finish at third group, along with Aler Primero and Alfie Catalan. They
    shared the same clocking of 4:48:45.

    Davadilla, who accused Quirimit of abandoning a gentleman's agreement in the previous day's sixth
    lap that was marred by confusion due to an ugly route snafu, was among the next group that crossed
    the finish.

    Ramos came a little less than two minutes after Domingo maintained his lofty perch in the overall
    chart with an accumulated 20:10:09 clocking.

    "Kinapos ako ngayon dahil nagutom ako sa final 10 km. Napagod din ako sa habol nang habol," said
    Ramos. "Pero mahaba pa naman ang karera, kaya pang bumawi."

    Not far behind at joint second place are Quirimit and veteran Placido Valdez with similar times
    of 23:12:51.

    Davadilla fell to fourth place and taking his place was Luzon
    (248:1:1). Running at fifth is Domingo, followed by Ryan Tanguilig at 6th place (23:18:15), Lloyd
    Lucien Reynante at 8th (23:21:01), Frederick Feliciano at 9th (23:21:05).

    Two-time champion Renato Dolosa (23:21:07) completes the top 10. The Tour, which is revived after
    four years of hiatus, takes a breather today before plunging to action again tomorrow with the
    longest lap of 247.6 km from here to Dagupan City.

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