Ronda Pilipinas stage 13February 15th, 2014 | Posted by in Uncategorized
oh boy… where should I start…
let’s start all the way from how the race went a day ago on stage 12… and so, it went the way we wanted it to. the whole race was controlled by Team 7Eleven and Road Bike Philippines (again, these two teams are one, working for one rider, the GC leader Galedo, and also the 2013 SEA Games ITT gold medal winner)
the race ended with Cris Joven of Team 7Eleven winning the stage… can’t get better for Team 7Eleven/Road Bike Philippines.
Peter and I finished safely with the main peleton, despite a crash just in front of us a few hundred metres to the finish.
so, this morning, while riding to the start line with Peter. we had a good talk about how the race had went so far. i can’t believe he actually told me, “the race had been perfect!”
we have 5 riders instead of 6 riders to start with.
we then lost a very strong team mate at the airport, now we have four!
we lost our ace climber on stage 3, now we are left with three!
then, another teammate had to leave, due to fatigue, and so, we have two!
next, an epic stage 2, when Peter went 3rd on GC, only to lose 9′ mins on the following stage (dropping from 3rd to 12th on GC).
he then climbed back on GC progressively…
only to have that frantic episode of him having a high fever for 2 days!
to top it off, he had a puncture on the most critical mountain stage (where i thought he could have won that stage and sealed the Tour once and for all)…
anyway, this was history…
back to this morning…
he told me, he had to try something today as his legs were feeling good again… always good when you hear that from Peter Pouly.
okay, today’s stage will bring us from Clark Freeport, Angeles City to Subic Bay Freeport… a total of about 160km. in between stood 3 categorised climbs, and an “easy” 15km of descent to the line…
the race started on time as usual… the 7km neutral start quickly ended. my job today was to stay as close as possible to Peter for as long as i could, support him in terms of refueling.
by now, Jason Christie of CCN must be a familiar name you hear in my report. there had been an unspoken pact between them since Jason took mountain stage 5 ahead of Peter.
like yesterday’s stage 12, Peter had followed Jason wheel thru out the 157km distance, yes, from KM0 to the last kilometre. with the limited resources from our own team, Peter had found safe haven by following behind Jason… with that, i was also able to carry out my ferrying of supplies without worrying if Peter was opened to any vulnerability when i was away.
for the first 30km of today’s stage 13, Peter was basically glued behind Jason’s wheel, as though he was part of our team. we then went thru the first 30km in a flash due to the tailwind pushing us along at over 52km/hr!
nothing major happened, except an daredevil attempt of one lone rider #16 Ronald Oranza, best young rider leader in the Yellow/Gold jersey.
he must have went on alone for over 35km by now!
with two teams of 7Eleven and Road Bike Philippines controlling the pace, the gap was kept on short leash of a maximum of 1’10 secs… Ronald then swept the first intermediate sprint alone @ kilometre 36.2.
two riders then joined Ronald and their lead suddenly jumped up to the mid 2′ min range.
2nd intermediate sprint was then also captured by Ronald.
65km into the race so far, my job was made easy as Peter is the only rider i need to take care of, only had to grab enough bottles for the two of us… and when I had plenty I would pass some to Jason or the other CCN rider, Hari.
more riders tried to bridge across to the leading trio but they were just dangling in no man’s land. somewhere between now and before the first KOM, the leading trio with Ronald in it finally got caught. job well done for Ronald for hanging out there for so long…
immediately, Rustom of PLDT and Lloyd (stage 4 winner), made their moves and escaped the peleton. this two man pack of Rustom and Lloyd quickly built up a lead of 55′ secs over the main peleton.
85km in and after some climbs, i was still there. making as many trips back to the car each time there was a descent, everytime i made sure I pick up a coke for Peter. this was also about when i made one last ditch attempt to pass Peter one last supply before the first categorized climb approached.
trust me, i fought so hard, just to get back up front to Peter once more… so he would have one more refuel…
at the foot of the first categorized climb, i knew my day was over and my job was done when I started to fall back, the commissaire car passing me and my team car gave me one more biddon as they drove ahead in pursuit of the peleton.
ahead… some of the most exciting racing in almost 2 weeks were about to unfold!
with 2 riders (Rustom and Lloyd) still ahead, 7Eleven/Road Bike Philippines continued to set a fast tempo… GC leader Galedo sitting at the back of his teammates… Peter Pouly following just behind Galedo.
Stage 11 winner Junrey attacked! Peter followed! Peter passed Junrey and asked him to follow… Peter looked back and Galedo was not there… Peter pushed… and went full gas! This effort of 100% from Peter Pouly went on for about 4′ mins! Peter looked back once more… Galedo was GONE but Riemon Lapaza (2nd on GC), George (sprint classification leader), Irish (defending champion of the 2013 Ronda Pilipinas) and Junrey (Stage 12 winner) were still clinging on for dear life! Peter asked for help but no one could came thru, so he continued to push on in front of this group if elite climbers.
1km signage to first KOM, Peter pushed on but still no help from the foursome following behind. 300 metres before the KOM, Rustom went for it and took 3rd with the duo of Rustom and Lloyd crossing the KOM line earlier.
Galedo was now desperately trying to close this gap, at stake was his GC lead and overall team classification. as seen on Ronda Pilipinas Facebook page, “One mistake and Galedo’s and 7Eleven’s lead could vanish instantly!”
with all of Galedo’s team mates, one by one exhausted after the past week’s and today’s effort… Galedo is now alone descending with a dozen of other riders from other teams, none of them had the legs to help him now. he was doing it alone!
ahead, Peter’s chase group of five quickly caught the duo of Rustom and Lloyd!
so now we have seven riders; Riemon, Peter, Junrey, Rustom, Lloyd, George and Irish in the lead, with Galedo and company just a dozen of seconds behind zooming down the descent!
everyone was working now, each with their own agenda, except Irish… lead from Galedo went from 30′ secs to about 50′ secs in the middle of the descent…
the second catergorized climb was approaching fast… Peter continued to set the pace, and rest in this group just followed.
then came the multiple attacks by Junrey up this second categorised climb… this in turn made the pace even faster… on the top… Irish sprinted and took KOM 2!
over the summit, they had stretched their lead over Galedo and company to 1’25 secs.
Peter then had a conservation with Riemon Lapaza (potential GC leader if this pace of Peter Pouly went on. before the start of today’s stage, Riemon was 2’17 secs behind Galedo) a “pact” was made between Riemon and Peter… they shook hands…
thought they went over the summit of KOM 2, it was not over yet… the road continued to kick up 4% to 5% for the next 2km… this was also where Peter continued to go full gas… and the unexpected happened, Stage 12 winner Junrey faded and was trying hard to stay on this group, but he hung on, for now!
the gap between Peter/Riemon’s group and Galedo’s chase group went from 1’25 secs to 1’50 secs… then to 2′ mins… this could possibly wiped out Galedo’s grip on GC!
Riemon Lapaza (2nd) and Peter Pouly (3rd) would move up on GC!
now the descent… then flat section… Riemon, sensing he would be the new GC leader took one strong pull in front… the gap over Galedo continued to widen!
at the 132km marker, the 3rd and the last KOM to come!
at the foot of the climb, Peter Pouly once again went full gas tolling Riemon and the rest up. from what I heard from Peter, he was hoping, he drop Riemon… but with 500 metres to the summit, they were all there… a sprint for the line and Rustom, Lloyd and George topped it.
Junrey of PLDT was the victim of this furious pace of Peter and was no longer here. behind, he had fallen back from this lead pack and slowly losing more stream, so the lead group now has 6!
the 6 were Riemon, Peter, Rustom (PLDT), Lloyd/George (Navy) and Irish (Army)!
with no 7Eleven riders here in the break, Junrey (PLDT) losing ground… Lloyd and George sensed this, now thought of the overall team GC now…
this in turn was cutting the work out for Peter and Riemon…
Lloyd and George now setting pace…. with Irish, Riemon, Rustom and Peter following…
15km to the finish and it was all descent… the lead is now 2’20 secs… if the stage were to end here, Riemon would be the new GC leader!
13km to go… the lead is now 2’35 secs…
Riemon needed only 2’17 secs to take the GC lead… Peter needed 3’28 secs to surpass Galedo for 2nd on GC…
these 6 riders continued to toll along… each one taking turns ahead…
Galedo was now 3′ mins behind with just 7km to go…
as they entered the port, Lloyd and George led…
their lead was now 3’30 secs with 5km to go!
behind, 7Eleven and Road Bike Philippines were making a move, but would it be too late?
4km to go… lead of leading six with Peter in it, was now 3’10 secs!
Galedo and workers were now fighting!
1km to go for lead group… Riemon was now thinking of stage honors!
Ruston took it, followed by Irish, Lloyd, Peter, George and Riemon respectively!
all eyes on the clock now…
behind, Galedo was fighting like a man possessed, waving through the headwinds, fighting his was, very desperately!
Galedo’s group entering last kilometre!
The red jersey had been stripped from Galedo… too late now…
in the camp of Team Infinite Singha camp, eyes still on the clock!
Peter needed 3’28 secs from Galedo!
Galedo’s group came in 3’33 secs later!
Peter moved up to 2nd on GC!
General Classification after stage 13
1. Riemon Lapaza 43:58:58
2. Peter Pouly @ 1:12
3. Galedo Mark John Lever @ 1:18
today Stage 13 was unlucky 13 for Galedo and for his team 7Eleven!
Galedo lost his GC lead (from 1st to 3rd), his team had lost the Team GC ranking (1st, all the way to 4th)!
vinny didn’t do that bad himself… he crawled in 50 out 62 and was allowed to finished ahead of his group for the effort hr put in on the last 15km…
what a day!
AND you can read all the updates and reports online but you will not get as close as this one, the most accurate account from Peter Pouly himself, into words by his waterboy cum race reporter/photographer vinny!
just one more stage, a short 89km criterium!