By Jerome Lagunzad
SANTIAGO CITY – An early Wednesday morning drizzle scuttled the plans of promising Go for Gold Developmental Team rider Jay Lampawog and the rest of his teammates to have an outdoor training on the first restday of the 2018 Ronda Pilipinas presented by LBC.
But that didn’t stop Lampawog, 20, who could be recognized as a basketball player from afar with his 6-foot frame, from making the most out of the short lull as he spent 45 minutes sweating it out on the stationary rollers inside their room in Diocita’s Hotel here.
Lampawog certainly has enough reasons – and motivation – to do so since the proud Villasis, Pangasinan native is running at third spot in the individual rankings so far behind Navy-Standard Insurance’s dynamic duo of back-to-back champion Jan Paul Morales and ace sprinter Ronald Oranza, the current LBC Red Jersey holder.
“Active rest po ang ginawa namin ngayon. Hindi po kasi pwede na magpahinga maghapon. Baka mabigla po ang katawan ‘pag sabak muli sa karera bukas (Thursday),” he said in a quick chat with sports scribes after having his lunch.
Despite enduring a flat tire that slowed him down during the opening 40-km criterium stage in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur last Saturday, Lampawog has climbed up the rankings with his steady performances in the next three laps, enabling him to pull within six minutes and 55 seconds behind Oranza, his hometown buddy.
Lampawog admitted he’s not surprised at all with his fine showing so far. “Maganda ‘yung naging ensayo ko ngayong taon kaya ini-expect ko po na magiging maganda rin ‘yung resulta ng performance ko,” he said.
But Lampawog knows he still doesn’t have any reason to be relaxed since the fancied Navymen are expected to turn up the heat on him starting on Thursday when they resume their pursuit with the punishing 179.4km Stage 5 trek to San Jose, Nueva Ecija via the dreaded Dalton Pass.
“Siguro ganun na nga rin po ang gagawin nila,” he said, perhaps already having an inkling on what lies ahead for him since he suited up for the Navymen last year. “Basta sasaabay na lang ako sa agos nila. Kung nasaan sila, sasabay lang rin ako.”
Even Team Army-Bicycology skipper Cris Joven, the Stage 3 winner who is seven minutes and 14 seconds off the pace at fourth spot, said he’s just trying to keep himself in strategic position.
“Ang importante, hindi ako mawala sa unahan. Para unti-unting umangat sa GC,” said the Private First Class Army. “‘Pag binigla ko ‘yang GC, mahihirapan ako. Kasi ‘yung Navy preparado talaga. Diskarte lang muna sa ngayon kasi mahaba pa ‘yung karera.”
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