Northern Mariana Islands Cycling Federation's first event for the 2013 season proved to be a tougher one as close finishes were recorded in last Sunday's Bird Island January Classic XC MTB Race.
In the men's championship course, first placer Charlin Sendin made it to the finish line less than a minute ahead of runner-up Erico Castro, as the former timed in at 45:05 against the latter's 45:48. Sendin and company started and ended the championship race at the Bird Island Lookout and past through the Calavera road, the back side to Radar via the one million gallon tank, back road of the Marianas Country Club golf course, and Kimikaze and Autobahn trails.
Ken Pierson rounded out the Top 3 after submitting 47:58. Also completing the longest course of the race were Noel Altamirano (49:27), Rosalio Quintos (52:53), Ranie Gayiola (54:51), Jay Santos (54:51), Rene Calage (56:33), and Ben Babauta (1:00:29).
In the women's division, Glorybel Tan won by less than three minutes against Susan Marchitti, as the former crossed the line at the 1:00:55 mark against the latter's 1:02:36. Eileen Escudero came in at third with a time of 1:25:41.
In the men's sports course, top finisher Jerome Diyco had only 25-second lead over Edwin Polagame. The youth rider clocked in at 33:07 versus Polagame's 33:32, while Denicio Bautista completed the Top 3 with his 35:16.
Other short course finishers were Ariel Lansangan (37:49), Gerald Rangamar (41:26), Samson Tan (41:27), father and son Bruce (1:01:14) and Alexander (1:16:49) Batemen and women's division's Angel Marie Tan (49:26 and Sheryl Sizemore (1:06:52). The short course brought bikers to Autobahn from the Bird Island Lookout and then to Santa Clause Lane and Banzai trails.
For the easy course, which had bikers heading to Santa Clause Lane from the Bird Island Lookout and to the landfill before returning to the starting/finish line, Wynn Brillo posted the closest victory, as his winning time of 18:28 was 23 seconds faster than Christian Bravo's 18:51. The next two placers-Keana Valencia and Esther Ada-had a neck-and-neck finish with the former recording 19:04 and the latter logging 19:06. Juanita Fajardo (20:42), Adam Sablan (21:00), and JC Ferrer (33:20) rounded out the easy course finishers.
Meanwhile, NMICF would like to thank Marpac, Brad Ruszala, and IT&E for supporting the group's season-opening race last weekend. (Saipan Tribune)