TEAM Philippine Navy Ronald Oranza won the Stage 6 of Ronda Pilipinas 2022 in Tagaytay City on Tuesday. — ERNIE PENAREDONDO

TAGAYTAY CITY — Ronald Oranza of Navy Standard Insurance used the first five stages to size up his rivals in the 11th LBC Ronda Pilipinas. When had taken everyone’s measure, he knew no one could stop him.

Finally flashing his dormant and inert climbing prowess in the feared Talisay-Tagaytay road in Sampaloc, Mr. Oranza blew away the field with a scintillating Stage Six performance to sideswipe Jonel Carcueva of Go of Gold from the overall lead in the 11th LBC Ronda Pilipinas on Tuesday.

When he got past the Tagaytay rotunda, the 2018 Ronda titlist was all by his lonesome and checked in at the finish in front of the Praying Hands with a time of three hours, 40 minutes and 45 seconds.

Fellow Navy man El Joshua Carino was second in the stage in 3:42:39 while Jan Paul Morales of Excellent Noodles — the leader from Stage One to Four before he was bumped off by Mr. Carcueva in Stage Five — third in 3:42:41.

The 29-year-old proud son of Villasis, Pangasinan then raised his arms in triumph to the delight of the throng of boisterous crowd who cheered and shouted in unison “Navy, Navy, Navy” and “Oranza, Oranza, Oranza” as he fell to the ground where he grimaced in pain due to cramps.

He was then carried by two race security personnel straight to the team tent near the awarding area where he was embraced and kissed by his coach Reinhard Gorrantes as the two shed tears of joy.

Because, after all, Mr. Oranza has snatched what he knew he would eventually own all along — the red LBC jersey.

And he did it after he had busted tire in Cuenca, Batangas and felt cramps near the finish.

“I had a flat tire in Cuenca and felt cramps about five kilometers to the finish but I prayed I could finish,” said Mr. Oranza. “I knew I would do good in this stage and I would get the chance to snatch the red jersey eventually.

“But I didn’t expect it will come today (Tuesday),” he added.

After six grueling, backbreaking stages, Mr. Oranza has assumed the individual general classification race lead in 18:46:04 ahead of Mr. Morales (18:46:46) and Mr. Carcueva, who fell to No. 3 in 18:49:01.

For the second straight day, there were major movements in the standings as Mervin Corpuz of Excellent Noodles sputtered to No. 4 from No. 3 in 18:50:51, Jeremy Lizardo of Navy Standard Insurance leapt to No. 5 from No. 13 in 18:52:36, and Mar Francis Sudario of Excellent Noodles hopped to No. 6 from No. 12 in 18:55:01.

Ronald Lomotos of Navy Standard Insurance ascended to No. 7 from No. 8 in 18:55:04, Jericho Jay Lucero of Go for Gold climbed to No. 8 from No. 9 in 18:55:10, Daniel Ven Carino slipped to No. 9 from No. 4 in 18:56:21, and John Mark Camingao of Navy Standard Insurance fell to No. 10 from No. 5 in 18:56:45.

In contrast, George Oconer of Navy Standard Insurance, who topped the last edition of this annual cycling spectacle two years ago, kept his downward spiral and was 88th in the stage and 42nd overall.

It was also an all-Navy show as it added more minutes to its growing overall team lead with an aggregate time of 53:41:57.

Go for Gold was at distant second in 54:00:28 while Excellent Noodles, the former leader, continued its alarming downfall and was at third in 54:29:24.

This 10-stage race will take a much-needed respite in Tarlac on Wednesday before resuming tomorrow for a 180.4-km Tarlac-Baler Stage Seven.

This annual event stakes a P3.5 million cash pot including P1 million to the champion courtesy of LBC Express, Inc., MVP Sports Foundation, Quad X, Smart, Twin Cycle Gear, Standard Insurance, Print2Go, Elves Bicycles, Elitewheels, Orome, Maynilad, PhilHydro, Garmin, Petron, Boy Kanin, Green Planet Bikeshop, Prolite, Fujiwara, Black Mamba Energy Drink, Lightwater, LBC Foundation, PhilCycling, and the Games and Amusements Board.