Michael Aparte smoked the competition in the mountain bike category of Saipan Unity Lions Club’s 5th Annual Bike Race held last Nov. 28.
The 33-year-old Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines native negotiated the Banzai/Mobil/1-Million Gallon Water Tank Turnaround/Suicide Cliff/Bird Island/Banzai route in 1:18:32.
Despite not really training because of work commitments, the Seafix Inc. employee was able to win the long course in relatively easy fashion.
“Conditions were OK and I didn’t had a hard time with the course despite having only trained two times before the race,” he said.
While he’s a relative newcomer on Saipan, Aparte has been into cycling when was still living in the Philippines. He is dedicating his victory to his family.
Coming in second in the MTB long course was Floro Derexes, who crossed the finish line in a time of 1:19:06.
The 58-year-old Northern Marianas College staff said he’s been competing in races since he was in high school in his hometown of Villasis, Pangasinan in the Philippines.
Derexes, who always serves as motorcycle or car marshal in local cycling and triathlon races, said he’s taken part in almost all manner of races in the CNMI including the Tagaman, Hell of Marianas, Tour de Tinian, countless duathlon, and even the Saipan Marathon.
Hernando Cristobal completed the Top 3 in 1:21:30 and the Yuman Construction employee said he was glad to have a podium finish in the race despite next to no training due to work and the inclement weather.
The 47-year-old from Bulacan, Philippines congratulated all riders that took part in SULC’s 5th Annual Bike Race.
In the MTB short course for men, Romando Lagrio won the short course that encompassed the Banzai/Mobil/Banzai route in 1:04:28. He was followed by Leo Bateong and John Dexter San Pedro with times of 1:05:33 and 1:06:24, respectively.
For the women MTB short course, Grace Salindo left everyone biting her dust after crossing the finish line in 1:09:46. Imee Altamirano was runner-up in 1:16:15 with Maila Buenabajo taking third place in 1:18:15.
There were no entries in the long course MTB for women.
Proceeds from the SULC 5th Annual Bike Race fundraiser will be used for various year-long programs that are in line with the club’s service goals as well as other humanitarian services as the needs arise.