Garcia, Bandoja show way in Road to Hell Series 2


From left, Road to Hell Series 2 organizer Ricky Castro, short course third overall finisher Ruben Leynes, first placer Gary Bandoja, runner-up Ranie Palad, and event announcer Jay Diyco pose for a photo during the awards ceremony for last Sunday’s competition at the Mariana Resort. (Contributed Photo)

Ariel Garcia and Gary Bandoja emerged as the overall finishers in the long and short courses in last Sunday’s Road to Hell Series 2.

Garcia completed the 60K race that brought riders from Mariana Resort to Mobil Tanapag (two laps), Radar, Suicide Cliff, Bird Island Lookout, Grotto, Banzai Cliff and back to Mariana Resort in 2:13:08.4, beating Dizon (2:13:08.6) in a photo finish. Wynn Brillo rounded out the Top 3 in the men’s road bike division of the long course after clocking in at 2:15:23.

In the short course, which had bikers leaving Mariana Resort to go to Mobil Tanapag (one loop) and proceeding to Bird Island Lookout, Grotto, and Banzai Cliff before heading back to the starting line, Bandoja timed in at 1:23:28 to place first in the men’s MTB division. He won over Ranie Palad (1:25:32) and Ruben Leynes (1:25:49).

In other results in the short course (25K to 30K), Bel Tan topped the women’s MTB after submitting 1:31:31. She prevailed against Shawna Bennfleck (1:36:19) and Meihua Rengiil (1:39:07), In the road bike category, Kathy Ruszala recorded 1:41:10 to cut the tape ahead of Claire Summers (2:00:13). Other finishers in the short course were Leo Yaguel (1:27:48) and Edcar VIllarin (1:32:00).

In the long course, MTB category, the division winners were Mark Isip (2:23:36), Ding Ramos (2:33:37), Floro Derexes (2:53:42), and Boboy Aguilar (3:09:25). Isip was the overall first finisher in the MTB, beating Noe Valdisimo (2:23:37) and Noel Altamirano (2:29:45), while Aguilar took the men’s 55 and above top honors against Ronald Strover (3:20:06). Ramos and Derexes won in the men’s 40 to 49 and 50 to 54 age groups, respectively.

In the road bike category, young gun Taiga Sato timed in at 2:29:59 to down Ernie Henzon in the men’s 30 and below division, while Manny Sitchon tallied 2:38:58 to place ahead of Steve Nutting (3:16:58) in the men’s 55 and above age group. Cesar Fortaleza (2:26:04) and Angel Marie Tan (3:27:07) were the other division winners, prevailing in the men’s 50 to 54 and women’s.

Road to Hell Series 2 was part of pre-Hell of Marianas races and was supported by Triple J Wholesale, Gatorade/PTC, and Marianas Resort.

Meanwhile, the island’s bikers will return to the road this Saturday as they are invited to participate in the Prostate and Childhood Cancer Awareness Run/Bike For a Cause.

Registrations for the run and bike races are free and will start from 4:30am to 5:30am at the American Memorial Park grounds. Races will begin at 6am.

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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