Cycling group kicks off Pre-Hell Series


Northern Mariana Islands Cycling Federation started its Pre-Hell of Marianas Series with Mark Isip and Noe Valdisimo leading the finishers list of last Sunday’s race.

Isip was the fastest to complete the 31-kilometer course that had riders leaving the former Mariana Resort & Spa and heading to Mobil Tanapag, Suicide Cliff, Bird Island, and Banzai Cliff before going back to the start/finish line. He clocked in at 1:03:49 to top the road bike category of the Pre-Hell of Marianas Series 1. Isip was more than three minutes ahead of Cesar Fortaleza, who edged Dencio Bautista in a down-to-the-wire finish, 1:07:01-1:07:02.

Other top placers in the road bike division were 40 and below’s Justin Jones (1:07:53); 41 to 45’s Nap Dizon (1:11:30); 46 to 50’s Bob Ferrer (1:07:51); 51 to 55’s Russ Quinn (1:09:12); 56 to 59’s Floro Derexes (1:07:51); 60 and above’s Loreto Dedoyco (1:17:41); women’s open’s J.C. Ferrer (1:07:50); 40 and below’s Kathy Ruszala (1:27:33); and 46 to 50’s Kimiko McKagan (1:14:46).

In the MTB category, Valdisimo’s 1:13:16 earned him the top spot in the podium, while Ding Ramos and Bernard Laborce came in at second and third after recording 1:18:01 and 1:19:10, respectively.

Chris Dong ruled the 40 and below age group after clocking in at 1:20:05, while Hernan Cristobal (1:19:43), Matt Buenabajo (1:26:42), Norlo Jacosalem (1:30:51), and Pax Guevarra (1:20:32) were the top finishers in other categories.

After last Sunday’s competition, NMICF will host three more events leading up to the 2019 Hell of Marianas Century Cycle Race, which is scheduled for Dec. 7.

The second leg of the series will be held on Sept. 15 with a longer distance—46K. The event will still start and end at the former Mariana Resort with bikers rounding the Mobil Tanapag twice and also heading to Suicide Cliff and Bird Islands.

For the Pre-Hell of Marianas Series 3 slated for Oct. 29, it will have the longest course among the four legs—at 67K—as bikers will have to go through the five corners (Radar, Suicide Cliff, Bird Island, Grotto, and Banzai) three times and finish at Mariana Resort.

The finale of the series will take place on Nov. 17 and this time, participants will navigate through the 36K course that covers Mobil Tanapag, Radar, Suicide Cliff, Bird Island, Grotto, and Banzai Cliff.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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