Fourteen-year-old Erico Castro stunned his competitors in the pre-Hell of the Marianas race, as he finished first out of 66 riders in last Sunday's event.
Castro completed the 50-kilometer race in 1:43:52.18 to win the road bike division against Rene Calage (1:48:13.28)) and last year's top finisher and veteran biker Lewie Tenorio (1:48:13.56), who still managed to complete the race and made it to the Top 3 despite a flat tire near Herman's Bakery.
Castro also defeated MTB first placer Nap Dizon in a down-to-the-wire race at the finish line at the southern parking lot of the Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio. Dizon crossed the finish line at the 1:43:52.41 mark. Last season's pre-Hell of the Marianas runner-up Butch Sublemente had another bridesmaid finish in the MTB division after clocking in at 1:48:05, while Bob Ferrer completed the Top 3 with his 1:48:13.01.
In the women's MTB, Glorybel Tan was the first female rider to make it to the finish line at the 1:54:22.69 mark, but was quick to admit she missed heading up to Aqua Resort Club after going down Capital Hill thus the first place win was awarded to Joann Salazar, who timed in at 2:21:37. Susan Marchitti (2:24:56) and Theresa Kim Tenorio (2:49:24) rounded out the Top 3, while Tan was honored with the sportsmanship award for her honesty.
In the road bike category, Regina Sebial submitted 2:06:39 to beat Norma Ada, who clocked in at 2:45:13.
Last weekend's event, which aimed at preparing local riders for the 2012 Hell of Marianas Century Cycle Race set for Dec. 1, started at 6am with bikers and volunteers greeted by heavy rains just before participants headed out to the course, according to race director Glenn Policare. From PIC's southern parking lot, bikers went to the airport and passed through Isa Drive, Chalan Talofofo, Kingfisher Golf Links's entrance, and back to Isa Drive. They then went down Capital Hill and turned right on Chalan Pale Arnold toward Aqua Resort before making a U-turn at Aqua Resort to head back to PIC via Beach Road.
“While the rain did not dampen any spirits, it did force a handful of riders to opt out of the Kingfisher Hill, as the slick roads proved to be stronger than their skin. I am grateful for all those who came out and braved the weather. It was a wet start but the skies cleared and thankfully no one was severely injured,” Policare said in an email to Saipan Tribune. It was great to see so many people come out and warm up for our 100K race.”
Meanwhile, registration for HOM is still open. Entry fee is only $60 and each rider gets a limited edition HOM jersey and entry to the event banquet. Registration made after Nov. 20 will cost $70, so bikers are encouraged to register early.
For more information, contact Policare at 237-5148 or via email at email@example.com.