Velasco leads Team PH attack in Stage 8 of Biwase Cup

Kate Yasmin Velasco was on attack mode on Wednesday, Mar. 15, in the 13th Biwase Cup in Vietnam but could only settle for sixth place in Stage 6—the first time in the 10-stage race when a Vietnamese soloed to the finish.

Velasco crossed two minutes and 16 seconds behind Tran Xuan Thao, who had enough time to raise her hands in victory over the 115-km stage she ruled in two hours, 48 minutes and 18 seconds with compatriots Tran Thi Thuy Van crossing 19 seconds later and Tran Thi Thuy Linh more than two minutes later.

Except for the criterium stages, Wednesday’s race was the shortest in this year’s Biwase Cup with Avegail Rombaon finishing 2:28 behind the winner, towing along teammates Mathilda Krog and Marianne Dacumos and Mixed Team rider Maura de los Reyes.

SKIPPER Avegail Rombaon represents Team Philippines for finishing third in Stage 7 on Tuesday.
SKIPPER Avegail Rombaon represents Team Philippines for finishing third in Stage 7 on Tuesday.

The other Mixed Team rider, Jelsie Sabado, and Mhay Ann Linda were caught at the back and crossed more than 12 minutes after the stage winner.

Team Philippines—fielded by the PhilCycling in preparation for 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—was fifth in the stage two and a half minutes behind Vietnam’s Tuyen Tp Hom Vinama (8:32:38).

Despite the splintered finish at the tip of the pelotom, Batriya Chaniporn still led the general classification by 23 seconds over fellow Thai Somrat Phetdarin and 1:05 over Vietnamese Bui Thi Quynh.

Dacumos remained at No. 17 in the general classification, Velasco was No. 22 and De los Reyes No. 24.

Rombaon was 30th, Sabado 38th, Krog 42nd and Linda 57th for Team Philippines handled by three-time SEA Games gold medalist Alfie Catalan, former top women rider Marita Lucas and Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance coach Joey de los Reyes.

Tuyen Biwase-Binh Durong stillled the team general classification with Team Philippines still at seventh more than 38 minutes behind.

The penultimate Stage 9 Thursday is also a 115-km ride from Lagi Town in Bình Thuận to Vũng Tàu City. The race ends with the 120-km Stage 10 Friday.

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