Filipino cyclists test mettle in Saipan
SAIPAN—Filipino pro cyclists are ready to help each other out as they tackle the Hell of the Marianas 100-kilometer bike race around this hilly island Saturday.
Competing in the annual event for the first time, veteran cyclists Mark Galedo and Jan Paul Morales and triathlete Joe Miller, who is also racing in the Open category, want to make sure at least one of them lands in the podium.
“Though we’re wearing different uniforms, we didn’t come here just for ourselves. We’re carrying the same flag and we want a Filipino to win,” said Galedo, a three-time Tour champion and the skipper of 7 Eleven-SAVA RoadBike Philippines.
“We will help each other out. It doesn’t matter who wins as long as it’s a Filipino,” said Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance’s Morales, who dominated Ronda Pilipinas earlier this year.
Miller, who is an off-road triathlete for Team Ford Forza, wants to push his limits against cycling pros but is willing to sacrifice during the race to give Filipinos a better chance.
“There’s no pressure for me because I just want to try it out. I also want to help the other Filipino (riders) because our competition here is strong, I’m willing to do it, be a domestique.”
Last year’s winner Ryutaro Nakamura of Japan and Konstantin Kraft of Russia, who ruled the 2014 race, are also in the mix.