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2019 Ronda Pilipinas a learning experience for Ronald Oranza, Navy

Navy-Standard Insurance’s Ronald Oranza will have a few weeks of re-energizing before returning to training in preparation for a pair of UCI-sanctioned races.

“We’ll rest for two weeks and we’ll be back on the road, because we will also be competing in the Pru Life and Le Tour,” said the 26-year-old Oranza, who finished second overall to eventual LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2019 winner Francisco Mancebo Perez of Matrix Powertag Japan, in Filipino.

Oranza, who turned 26 last Tuesday, stressed he learned a lot from this year’s Ronda edition – which is now sanctioned by the UCI, the cycling’s world governing body. And he will use that to his advantage in future races.

“This race taught us that we really have to train harder because the foreign riders are really strong. Training hard isn’t enough; we have to double or triple our efforts for us to have a chance at beating them,” said Oranza.

Although he wasn’t able to successfully defend the title, the Villasis, Pangasinan-native is happy to have emerged as the best Filipino rider.

“The competition was really tough and Mancebo is really strong. So finishing behind him (Mancebo) isn’t that bad. And it still feels like winning back-to-back crowns in Ronda Pilipinas,” he admitted.

There was also disappointment that Navy, which won the team crown in the last five editions, faltered in the overall team race, as it wound up third behind eventual winner Matrix Powertag Japan and 7Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines.

Navy coach Rienhard Gorrantes said it was part of the game.

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“We’re okay with it, we can’t win all the time,” said Gorrantes.

“What is important is that we fought until the end and we gave them a good fight.

“We’ll try again to win more races in the future,” he added.

The Navymen specifically aim to do well in two UCI-sanctioned races – the Pru Life in May and the Le Tour in Jis.

Gorrantes said there is plenty at stake in those two races.

“The Pru Life and Le Tour are both UCI races. So we have to do good there, because we want to earn qualifying points for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

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