LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: Australian Samuel Hill topped the Stage 3 while Filipino riders Dominic Perez and Mark John Galedo shared the limelight in the 10th Le Tour de Filipinas on Sunday here.
The 23-year old Hill of Team Nero Bianchi along with Perez and Galedo breakaway from the peloton early in the race and seized control of the top 3 positions after traversing the 183.7-kilometer paved road from Daet, Camarines Norte.
Hill registered four hours, 33 minutes and 12 seconds and was 51 and 54 seconds ahead of Perez and Galedo, respectively.
“The win today, I can’t really express how grateful I am. It means so much because this is my first UCI race win in my career,” said the six-foot-two Hill, who donned the Air21 purple jersey.
Hill sped away in the last 12-kilometer leaving behind the two Filipino riders gushing for energy trying to chase the leader.
Perez and Galedo launched an attack to catch up with Hill despite Perez nursing a scratch.
“I and Mark tried to chase Hill but he was too fast for us,” said the 24-year old Perez, who was after for the stage’s top finish.
“The last 10km I knew it was a big down. So, I thought if I can just get a head start at the downhill, I should get aerodynamic and stay away. So that was the plan basically as soon as the break started,” added Hill, a native of New Castle, Australia.
In the end, Perez wore the SPL Best Filipino Rider pink jersey and the Cargohaus Best Sprinter orange jersey.
Dominic Perez was named the Stage Best Filipino Rider finishing in 4:34:03.
Daniel Habtemichael of 711 Cliqq-Air 21 donned the red jersey after emerging as the U-Freight Best Young Rider.
Dutch Jeroen Meijers of Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team (China) remained the general classification leader (12:34:06) after three stages.
He was followed by Choon Huat Goh of Terengganu Cycling Team (Malaysia) with 45 seconds gap and Angus Lyons of Oliver’s Real Food Racing (Australia) with one minute and 38 seconds difference.
Habtemichael was 2:13 minutes behind in the GC while his teammate Marcelo Felipe, who was named SPL Best Filipino Rider (pink jersey) landed at No. 10 and was 2:36 minutes away from Meijers.
Team Ukyo from Japan kept hold of the top spot in the Team General Classification ( 37:47:32) while Go for Gold is leading in contention for the Best Filipino Team after collecting 38:03 hours.
The penultimate Stage 4 today (Monday) is a 176 km out-and-back route from Legazpi City via Sorsogon and Gubat.
Riders will take on a challenging 2.2km uphill climb at the Forest Lake Memorial Park in Legazpi City for the King of the Mountain honors.
The 10th edition of the UCI 2.2 Category race is marked by the full cooperation of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Phililppines and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management units.
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