Rennan “Butch” Sublemente celebrated his return to competitive cycling by topping the mountain bike division of last Sunday’s 2021 Padyakan Sa Saipan.
The 49-year-old from Puerto Princesa, Philippines was the first to cross the finish line in a mountain bike in the 60-kilometer, three-lap race that started and ended at Banzai Cliff in Marpi and had its turnaround at Seafix Inc. in Tanapag. There were no official times provided.
Sublemente said he was surprised to emerge victorious in the race, noting that he took a sabbatical from the sport for six years before returning prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. He dedicated his win to his wife, Richelle, and their children, Lianna and Alyssa.
The former BMX enthusiast also took time to thank organizers and said he’s just happy to finish the race as it was a long and hot course. “It was really hot today. It’s only 8am but it seemed like it’s already 11am because of the heat,” he said in Filipino.
Sublemente also said that the race was unusual since the pacing of the start allowed road bikers to catch up with the mountain bikers, which caused many mountain bikers like him to keep pace and as a result finished earlier than they used to.
Coming in second and third after Sublemente in the mountain bike division of the 60-kilometer race was John Arceo and Michael Aparte, respectively.
In the age group category, Nap Solis was the first to cross the finish line in the men’s 30-39 followed by Reneboy Avila. Hernan Cristobal topped the men’s 40-and-up, followed by Rosalio Quintos and Ferdz Licayan.
Floro Derexes, Gary Bandoja, and Norlo Jacosalem finished 1-2-3 in the men’s 50-and-up, while Ponce Corotan won the men’s 60-and-up division followed by Bobax Aguilar.
In the beginners (20 kilometers), Edwin Angeles was first place with Ricardo Delos Santos, Christian De Guzman, and Fradel Sedillo making it in the Top 4.
The Emon Masonic Lodge awarded the Top 3 winners of each division with medals and other prizes during the awards ceremony held Sunday night at Rendezvous Restaurant.
The 2021 Padyakan Sa Saipan was originally set for March 20, but was moved back nearly a month after Saipan recorded a small cluster of COVID-19 cases early last month. Padyakan is a Filipino word which loosely means to pedal.