Youth biker Erico Castro left Saipan last Sunday to compete in the Bike United Tour of Subic in the Philippines.
The Marianas High School student will be participating in the three-stage tournament that will be held in Subic, which used to house a former U.S. base and is located in the province of Zambales. For Stage 1, which is scheduled to kick off this Friday morning, the 16-year-old Castro will be racing in a 20K individual time trial (ITT). After the ITT, Castro will return at the starting line (Puregold Store) in the afternoon for the Stage 2, which is a 60K road race. In Stage 3, which will be held this Saturday, the longest race awaits Castro, as the last part of the event will cover a distance of 90K.
The youth biker does not have a target time in each stage, but hopes to land in the Top 10 in each race. He added that he is more excited than nervous in competing in Subic and his experience in doing similar road races on Saipan will come in a handy.
“I train on Saipan almost everyday and I do hill intervals and sprints on flats. I don’t feel frightened because I have done many races similar to this. I am doing this as an added experience. I am a good sprinter, I will try my best to out-sprint my opponents,” said Castro, who had done the Hell of Marianas, the road bike portion of the Tagaman Triathlon, and other regular races on the island for the past four years.
Castro’s participation in the Bike United Tour of Subic and other events was made possible through the generosity of Team Manatee, Pacific Subsea, and Northern Mariana Islands Cycling Federation. Team Manatee is composed of Stephen Nutting, Jim Anerovski, John Jones, and Mark Blackburn, while NMICF is under the leadership of Vince Seman.
Meanwhile, about two months after competing in the Philippines, Castro will leave Saipan anew to attend the USA Cycling Regional Talent Identification Camp. The nearly weeklong camp that will take place from July 13 to 18 will be held in UC Davis in California.
According to the website of USA Cycling, the camp “provides USA Cycling with junior talent evaluations while offering athletes a pathway to develop their cycling ability. It is the first step for young athletes to enter into the USA Cycling development pipeline, providing them guidance and development towards their cycling future.” This year, the camp has 14 sessions, which are spread across the U.S.