Carera won Tour's Subic leg
As South African grabs overall lead in 8th stage of Tour
Sherwin Carera of Liquigas team flashes the No. 1 sign as he crosses the finish line in the Stage 8 of the Tour of Luzon criterium race at SBMA.
SUBIC , Philippines – Dennis Von Nickalk of EMG summoned his remaining strength two kilometers to the finish to grab the overall lead in Stage 8 won by Sherwin Carera of Liquigaz yesterday in the 2010 LPGMA Tour of Luzon.
The 25-year-old South African reached the end of the 105-kilometer criterium at Cubi Point here after Carera (2:38.07) and American Vinyl’s Irish Valenzuela (16.51) to strip Canadian David Veilleux of Kelly Benefits Strategies of the yellow jersey going into today’s final stage at the Ayala Triangle.
Nickalk, who never won a multi-stage race throughout a six-year career, is poised to take his first general classification crown after logging a total of 19 hours, 20 minutes and 39.3 seconds, just 11.2 seconds ahead of the second-running Veilleux.
“The road is flat and we’re going to control it,’’ said Nickalk, referring to today’s 15-lap criterium in Makati City with a distance of 60 kilometers.
“It’s now between us. But I’m a lot faster than him (Veilleux). The only thing that could prevent me from winning the title is an unexpected crash,’’ added Nickalk, who finished the stage 1:12.9 behind Carera.
EMG team captain James Perry (1:28.93) arrived simultaneously with Veilleux before Baler Ravina of Liquigaz (1:33.49) and Smart’s Oscar Rendole (1:42.12) came in.
Perry also moved up a notch higher at third overall (3:15.07) after Kelly Benefits skipper Reid Mumford dropped to ninth 5:40.93 behind Nickalk. Mumford was relegated to the fourth group in the last few kilometers and finished 23rd in the stage.
Running fourth overall was Ravina (3:22.77) followed by Valenzuela (3:28.61), Santi Barnachea of Liquigaz (4:05.63), Tagaytay’s Jay Tolentino (5:16.26), Smart’s Tomas Martinez (5:23.71), Mumford and Joel Calderon of Smart (6:27.94).
“It will be difficult for him (Veilleux) to get it from Dennis. But sometimes these criterium races are dangerous so we still have to be on guard,’’ said Perry.
With three laps to go in the 10-lap race, Carera and Valenzuela cut loose from a big group, which included Nickalk, Perry, Veilleux, Hoag and four other homegrown riders.
As Nickalk reached the final ascent going to Cubi Point, he furiously kicked his way and closed the gap between him and the tandem of Carera and Valenzuela, leaving Perry and Veilleux behind.
American Vinyl’s Cris Joven improved to 11th overall, 9:31.28 behind Nickalk while Rendole, American Vinyl’s Ronnel Hualda, Geo Estate Beacon’s Renato Sembrano, Arnel Quirimit of Liquigaz, Bryant Sepnio (Geo Estate), Chau Wai Man (Champion System), Merculio Ramos (Geo Estate), Chene Hoag (Kelly) and Hilson Mangahis (American Vinyl) rounded out the top 20. (The Philippine Star)