Team Philippines didn’t have enough gap for an attack just like the rest of the field with another rider from Thailand taking the day’s top honors in an uneventful Stage 5 criterium of the 13th Biwase Cup in Vietnam on Sunday, Mar. 12.
The 10-lap 50-km criterium raced around Xuân Hương Lake in Đà Lạt City and in Baguio City-like temperature was decided only in the final sprint.
Thai Maneephan Jutatip outsprinted Vietnamese Bui Thi Quynh to win the stage in one hour, 13 minutes and four seconds.
Japanese rider Miho Yoshikawa was third in the stage where all riders were given the same finishing time.
Team Philippines’ Kate Yasmin Velasco was 11th on the stage, Avegail Rombaon was 11th, Mathilda Krog was 28th, first-time internationalist Mhay Ann Linda was 31st and Mixed Team riders Maura de los Reyes and Jelsie Sabado were 41st and 57th, respectively.
Marianne Dacumos was caught behind the pack in 70th place for Team Philippines sent here by the PhilCycling ahead of the Cambodia 31st Southeast Asian Games and supported by the Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, Tagaytay City, MVP Sports Foundation, Standard Insurance, Excellent Noodles and 7-Eleven.
As a result of the bunch finish, the general classification remained with Thais Batriya Chaniporn and Somrat Phetdarin and Japanese Shoko Kashiki keeping their 1-2-3 positions.
Dacumos stood at No. 17, with Velasco at No. 22, followed by De los Reyes (24), Rombaon (29), Sabado (30), Krog (46) and Linda (60).
Team Philippines finished fifth behind winner Tuyep Tp Hcm Vinama after the stage and remained in seventh place in the team classification behind leader Tuyen Biwase-Binh Durong.
Stage 6 on Monday from Đà Lạt City to Phan Rang City via the Vĩnh Hy mountain pass covers 130 kms.
Eighteen teams—six foreign squads including Team Philippines—are vying in the race organized by the Vietnam Cycling Federation to celebrate International Women’s Day.