Pangasinan churns out another hero in El Joshua Cariño
BAGUIO City, Philippines — From Mangaldan, Pangasinan – cradle of cycling champions – rose Philippine cycling’s newest star.
Philippine Navy Standard Insurance’s El Joshua Cariño met his date with destiny and crowned himself ruler of the ninth Le Tour de Filipinas yesterday, continuing the winning tradition set by two-time Tour of Luzon champ Jesus Garcia Jr. and his very own relatives Samson and Ruben Cariño, winners of the 1975 Picca Tour and 1984 Marlboro Tour, respectively, for their fabled hometown.
The 25-year-old Cariño, who led a historic 1-2 finish with kid brother Daniel in the penultimate Stage Three of the UCI race Tuesday, put the finishing touches to his starmarking triumph with strong third-place in the final stage from Lingayen to the City of Pines.
Cariño covered the 154.64K Stage Four that traversed the back-breaking Hors category climb on Kennon Road in 4:07:54, a clocking good enough to quash the grab-and-snatch attempt of Eritrean rider Metkel Eyob of Terengganu. Eyob won the stage with 4:05:52 but he fell short of wiping out Cariño’s 2-minute, 42-second overnight lead and lost the dispute for the GC by 40 seconds.
Cariño (12:25:13) became only the third Filipino after Baler Ravina in 2012 and Mark Galedo in 2014 to dominate the foreign-flavored LTdF.
“Napakasarap, parang hindi ako makapaniwala, dati nanonood lang ako sa foreigners, sa mga Pinoy dito sa Kennon, ngayon ako na ang pinapanood ng mga siklista. Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na ako ang nanalo (It hasn’t sank in yet. I used to watch the local and foreign riders here on Kennon Road but now I’m the one the aspiring cyclists are watching. Still can’t believe I won),” he said.