By Jerome Lagunzad
TARLAC CITY — Team Navy-Standard Insurance showed no signs of slowing down on Sunday, ruling the 42.1-kilometer Stage 8 Team Time Trial in the 2018 Ronda Pilipinas.
Anchored by LBC Red Jersey holder Ronald Oranza, reigning back-to-back titleholder Jan Paul Morales, climbing specialist Junrey Navara and Archie Cardaña, the Navymen clocked in at 56 minutes and 17 seconds.
Go for Gold Developmental Team, bannered by third-running Jay Lampawog, came in at second overall, two minutes and 54 seconds off the Navymen, while the Team Amrmy-Bicycology checked in a third, three minutes and 53 seconds behind.
Behind another big-time collective effort, the Navymen further widened the gap in the overall team rankings with an accumulated time of 82 hours, 19 minutes and 52 seconds, giving them enough cushion ahead of the three-day respite.
Morales, 32, however, admitted it wasn’t as easy ride as their clocking suggests.
“Nag-struggle kami nu’ng simula kasi maraming kumalas sa amin,” he said, adding that Jhon Mark Camingao was dealing with a bum stomach and El Joshua Cariño, the Stage 5 winner, struggling to keep himself with the tempo.