Nap Dizon and Kanae Quinn overcame the challenges of their closest rivals to rule the 5PTS + 2 Pre-Hell of the Marianas yesterday.
The race, which started and ended in front of the Mariana Resort & Spa entrance, was divided into short and long courses in the road and mountain bike classes both in the men’s and women’s divisions. Dizon and Quinn went home with the men’s and women’s road bike crowns in the long course.
Dizon bested youngster Jerome Diyco and J.C. Libut. They were also the Top 3 finishers in last month’s Bike For Life organized by Pacific Islands Club-Saipan with Dizon placing third behind the champion Diyco and the runner-up Libut.
This time, Dizon made sure the results will be in his favor, as he took advantage of his climbing skills to slowly pull away as the five-man lead group—that also included Tyce Mister and Wynne Brillo—made its way to Radar Hill in As Matuis.
“I’m also a seasoned rider so I used my climbing skills in taking advantage of every situation. This is my preparation for the Hell of the Marianas and I am really satisfied in winning the race despite having a hard time training,” said Dizon in between breaths after crossing the finish line.
“It’s now hard for me to find the time to ride because I am busy with work and family. As much as possible, I try to squeeze in practice every weekend or at 6:30pm after work,” added Dizon, who completed the race in 2:02:10.
Diyco, who bested Dizon and Libut in the PIC race by milliseconds, was more than three minutes behind Dizon at 2:05:47, while Libut clocked in at 2:09:04.
“I encountered some problems with my gears going up Radar. Good thing my bike did not have any major trouble after that and I still managed to finish second,” said Diyco.
Quinn, meanwhile, showed that she still had enough gas on her tank as she blitzed past her opponents in the punishing race that tested the legs and endurance of the riders with the killer climbs up north.
Quinn clocked 2:23:02 or almost three minutes ahead of runner-up Emily Northrop’s 2:26:01, while Ayano Braxton came in at third after finishing the long course in 2:31:00.
The long course had a distance of 55 kilometers with riders heading toward Mobil Tanapag where they made their turn and started the challenge of North’s dreaded five-corners for the climb at the Radar in As Matuis and then toward Suicide Cliff, Bird Island, Grotto, and Banzai Cliff. From Banzai Cliff, the riders headed back to Mariana Resort where they made a final turn going to Bird Island and Grotto before the final lap back to Marianas Resort.
The short course began at Mariana Resort going further north to Suicide Cliff, Bird Island, Grotto, and Banzai Cliff and back to the starting line.