Oconer anchors Navy surge in Ronda Stage 5

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    NAVY SURGE: The Navy squad, led by John Mark Camingao (center), cross the finish line in front in a bunch during the fifth leg of the 10th Ronda Pilipinas that ended in Antipolo City yesterday.
    NAVY SURGE: The Navy squad, led by John Mark Camingao (center), cross the finish line in front in a bunch during the fifth leg of the 10th Ronda Pilipinas that ended in Antipolo City yesterday.

    ANTIPOLO CITY — Standard Insurance-Navy, led George Oconer, struck like lightning and dominated Stage Five, with six of its riders checking bunched together at the finish to wrest the lead in almost all the categories possible in the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 10th anniversary race on Thursday.

    John Mark Camingao topped the 122.6-kilometer stage that started in Lucena City and ended in front of the capitol followed by 2018 Ronda king Ronald Oranza and many-time King of the Mountain Junrey Navarra.

    El Joshua Carino, Ronald Lomotos and George Oconer were also in that group that clocked three hours, 12 minutes and 50 seconds in this 10-stage race presented by LBC and supported by the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation.

    So impressive was the Navy men’s feat that they pulled away as early as the first eight-kilometer mark in Lucban, Quezon and kept their stranglehold of the lead until the finish where they were met by a loud crowd of local cyclists and fans.

    Jan Paul Morales, the 2016 and 2017 Ronda winner, was originally part of that lead pack but decided to move back to the peloton of this race backed by Versa, 8A Performance, Print2Go, Petron, Green Planet, Bike Xtreme, Standard Insurance, Spyder, CCN, Lightwater, Prolite, Guerciotti, Black Mamba, Boy Kanin, Vitamin Boost, NLEX-SCTEX, Maynilad, 3Q Sports Event Management Inc., LBC Foundation and PhilCycling

    The spectacular effort catapulted Oconer from second in the general individual classification race to first with an aggregate time of 17:54:13.

    He is expected to go all out to protect the red LBC jersey he will wear when the race resumes on Thursday with the 111.9-km Stage Six that will start at the capitol and end at the Tarlac Recreational Park in San Jose.