Youngsters Jerome Diyco and J.C. Ferrer ruled their respective divisions in the road bike event to lead the winners of last Saturday’s Bike for Life.
Diyco bested the veteran pair of J.C. Libut and Nap Dizon in a mad rush to the finish that had three riders separated by only tenths of a second. Diyco even looked back to check how far behind him were the two about 200 meters away from the finish line.
The 17-year-old completed the 50-kilometer race, which began and ended at the south parking lot of the Pacific Island Club-Saipan with a turnaround point at Banzai Cliff, in 1:22:26.03. Diyco is only 35 milliseconds ahead of Libut (1:22:26.38), who defeated Dizon by 30 milliseconds (1:22:26.68).
The three were part of an early group of eight cyclists that broke away from the rest of the pack minutes after the starting gun. Diyco then made his move as they get past the Chalan Piao stop light.
“We stayed close at each other but when I saw that no one was trying to get ahead I tried to get into position to pull away. I slowly made my move and get away from the rest of the group,” said Diyco a few minutes after crossing the finish line.
Ferrer, who also won her age group in last year’s Siheky bike race, duplicated Diyco’s feat in the women’s open, but the shy 12-year-old enjoyed a good lead against the two other finishers.
She clocked in 1:23:50.09, more than four minutes ahead of runner-up Zairya Marfega’s time of 1:27:57.78, while Kimiko McKagan came in third after completing the race in 1:28:06.75.
Ferrer said she also stayed with a group of riders that included her dad, Bob, but pulled away as they made their way to Kensington Hotel.
Bob, Ferrer’s dad, said he was not supposed to join the race since he’s still recovering from a minor operation. “I just decided to join the last minute to act as a guide since this is her first time to join in the open division.”
“That’s why when I felt that she can handle the race, I told her to pull away and leave me behind since I won’t push myself further because of a recent operation.”
The younger Ferrer followed her dad’s instructions and pulled away. “I decided to take up cycling as a cross training for tennis to develop my stamina. I join my dad every week but I will still be playing tennis.”