Make way for the more than 170 bikers that will cruise around the island tomorrow during the 7th Annual Hell of Marianas Century Cycle.
Race director Kanae Quinn, in an email to Saipan Tribune last Thursday morning, said 174 bikers have registered for this weekend’s event and they are expecting a record field tomorrow.
“We’re going to have a record turnout on Saturday for our 7th Annual HOM. Some of the pros are already on island as well as other racers from Russia, Korea, Japan, Guam, China, Taiwan, U.S.and Australia,” Quinn said.
Australia has defending women’s champion Jodie Willett, who will go for a three-peat this year against fellow pros Mieko Carey and Rose Munoz of Guam. Others pros joining this year’s “Hell” are Guam’s Gabe Lombard and Jonathan Martin, Japan’s Atsushi Kano and Kauzhiro Yamamoto, Russia’s Aleksandr Dorovskikh, and Korea’s Ka On Cho.
Besides its three pros, Guam is fielding 23 other bikers in tomorrow’s race, while Japan has 10, China has six, Korea has five, Russia has four, the U.S. has three, and Saipan has a record-field of 120. A few more bikers are expected to make the registration deadline, which was last night (9pm).
Men’s defending champion John Anderson of Australia is missing this year’s 100-kilometer race, as he was very sick, according to Quinn. With Anderson out, the men’s race will be an open and interesting one, especially with the minor change in the course in place.
Tomorrow’s race will start and end at the Mariana Resort & Spa with bikers heading first to the Last Command Post for the turnaround before going north via Beach Road. Bikers will also pass the Airport Road, San Vicente, Kagman (turn at Laolao Bay Golf & Resort), Kingfisher, Talafofo, Capital Hill, and Radar Tower before returning to Mariana Resort and heading to Bird Island Lookout, Grotto, Suicide Cliff, Banzai Cliff, and back to the start/finish line.
Motorists and pedestrians are advised to take extra caution this Saturday morning from 6:30am to 9:30am, as bikers will ride in packs during this time. Dog owners are also requested to secure their pets.
Meanwhile, participants can pick up their race packet from 2pm to 6pm at the lobby (west conference room) of Mariana Resort. The race will start at 6:15am and the first finisher is expected to reach Mariana Resort around 9:30am.