Champion Wong upstaged by younger Man in Cebu

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 April, 1998, 12:00am

Hong Kong rider Man Wai-chung surpassed teammate and defending champion Wong Kam-po in the first stage of the Centennial Tour of the Philippines in Cebu yesterday.

Man finished 23rd in the 193.5-kilometre Cebu-Bogo-Cebu stage with a time of five hours, 10 minutes and five seconds. He is now 22nd overall in the Marlboro-sponsored event.

Wong clocked 5:13:58 to finish 34th. He also stands 34th overall, 15 minutes and 27 seconds behind overall leader Arnel Querimit of the Philippines.

Wong's teammate Ho Siu-lun and China's top riders Pan Guangchun and Tang Xuezhong all finished in the same peloton.

The 25-year-old Wong said afterwards: 'I am still gauging the field.

'There are many riders I am not familiar with and, along with the coach and team manager, we are deciding on how to tackle the rest of the race - but everything is going well so far.' Philippine national team rider Querimit won a three-man sprint to take the first stage and overall lead. He clocked 4:58:52.

Querimit, 22, edged out teammate Warren Davadilla and Nor Effandy Rosli of Malaysia to grab the leader's yellow jersey from Filipino rookie Virgilio Durain, who won Wednesday's prologue.

Today's second stage takes the 76 remaining riders on a 133.9-kilometre grind from Cebu and back via the Argao resort south of Cebu.

Six Asian national teams are competing against 54 Filipino riders in this year's 2,570-kilometre, 16-stage Tour, which offers total prize money of US$300,000.