Jerry Aquino, Jr. of Scratch It topped Stage 3 and snatched the overall general classification lead from Mark Julius Bordeos of Bicycology-Army in the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 10th anniversary race that started in Legazpi and ended at the Panganiban Drive in Naga City on Tuesday.
Aquino, 27, edged Go for Gold skipper Ronnel Hualda and Bicycology-Army’s Dominic Perez in a mass finish as all clocked 2 hours, 47 minutes and 12 seconds to achieve many firsts — a breakthrough lap victory and his first ever taste of the overall lead.
“It was always my dream to wear the leader’s jersey so it was really a dream come true,” said Aquino, son of Marboro Tour vet Jerry Sr.
Aquino will wear the red jersey on Wednesday's grueling 206-km Stage 4, the longest lap in this 10-stage race that starts in Daet, Camarines Norte and ends in Lucena.
The Makati City native gained a 10-second time bonus for his recent feat to supplant Bordeos, the Sorsogon Stage 1 winner, from the top with a total time of 9:43:39.
Bordeos slid to second with 9:43:46 in this 10-stage race staking P1 million to the individual champion.
Aquino, however, benefitted from the heated battle being waged by fierce rivals 7Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines and Standard Insurance-Navy, two of the country’s top teams.
“We just watched them (7Eleven and Standard). It was really intense,” said Aquino.
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