Familiar names lorded it over in the 2nd Annual Saipan Unity Lions Club bike race held last Sunday from Banzai Cliff in Marpi.
A total of 42 cyclists braved the early morning race and the partially wet conditions of the 60-kilometer course that had participants taking three loops from Banzai Cliff to Mobil Tanapag.
Nap Dizon remained Saipan’s King of the Road after successfully defending his men’s road bike title with J.C. Libut and Ariel Garcia placing second and third, respectively. Emily Northrop duplicated Dizon’s feat in the women’s division followed by Vernice Ronda.
Ernie Henzon, Jerome Diyco, and Renren Gaviola were the Top 3 in the U40 men’s.
Bob Oropesa bested Dencio Bautista in the men’s 41 to 45, while Avel Villafuerte outraced Jojo Valencia in men’s 46 to 50 division.
Cesar Fortaleza ruled the men’s 51 to 55 age group followed by Ronnie Santos and Bobby Vargas. Manny Sitchon topped the men’s over-56, relegating Daniel Calvo and Conrad Libut to second and third places, respectively.
Mark Isip won the men’s mountain bike category, while Noe Valdisimo came in second and Ding Ramos at third. Ricky Suba was the lone competitor in the men’s 41 to 45, while Andrew Estepa, Jay Diyco, and Nestor Abing were the Top 3 in the 46 to 50 division.
Floro Derexes beat Florence Antonio for the men’s 56 above title with Ponce Corotan coming in at third. Times were not recorded for the fundraising tournament.
SULC official Joe Digno said they decided to hold an annual race to give the island’s cycling community another event. “Saipan has a vibrant cycling community. They have a lot of activities, so we decided to have another race so they remain active.”
He added that they also plan to organize other sports fundraising events like a bowling tournament sometime this year. “But we will still have to meet and discuss our plans and where would the proceeds go.”
Dignos said SULC would give the proceeds of Sunday’s race to Karidat Social Services for their charity projects. “We’re going to turn over canned goods, rice, and other food items to Karidat. From there, they would be the ones who would distribute it to our needy brothers and sisters.”