Nino Surban, Ariana Dormitorio dominate in mountain bike national trials


Posted at Jun 14 2021 04:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Nino Surban and Ariana Dormitorio lived up to expectations in the national trials for mountain bike, organized by PhilCycling, in Danao City.

Surban, the men's cross-country silver medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, conquered the highly technical, six-lap, three-kilometer track atop the challenging hills of Sitio Bugho in Barangay Sandayong Sur to win the Men Elite gold medal in one hour, 22 minutes and 11.21 seconds.

Jericho Rivera crossed the uphill finish some two and a half minutes after Surban to settle for the silver medal, while Mark Louwel Valderama was more than a minute back for the bronze medal.

Dormitorio dominated the women's race -- a shorter five-loop ride over a three-kilometer distance -- and won the gold medal with a time of 1:29:50.75.

Nicole Quinones, daughter of Vietnam 2003 Men's MTB gold medalist Eusebio Quinones, raced her first Women's Elite race and bagged the silver medal with a 1:42:12.89 clocking. Pamela Jane Ruiz clinched bronze in 1:48:25.24.

READ: PH mountain bike team set for SEA Games tryouts

"Cycling is back," said PhilCycling and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino after the event.

"It's been more than a year since we have an official race, and this competition in Danao City marks our sport's return," he added.

Health and safety protocols were enforced in the event through the local government of Danao City, the Regional Task Force and the Department of Health.

"The results showed our cyclists stayed in competitive form even during the pandemic. Everyone wanted to return to action," said Oscar "Boying" Rodriguez, PhilCycling vice chairman and MTB commission head. He also chairs the Danao City Sports Commission.

READ: Cycling events in PH will go 'full blast' in 2021

Rodriguez and former congressman Ramon Durano awarded the medals to the winners.

The Ronda Pilipinas was the last to be raced before the pandemic struck in March 2020.

Some young cyclists also showed their potential to be considered for spots in the national team.

Gart Gaerlan topped the Men's Junior race (four laps, 12.4 kms) in 1:03.27.73, followed by Marvin Dave Cerilo (2:07.32 behind) and another Quinones, Matthew Simon (6:08.12 behind).

Athena Marie Magpantay, the Batang Pinoy champion in Puerto Princesa in 2018, remained in top form and ruled the Women's Junior category in 1:11:11.44. Jasmin Philsen Babol (1:20:26.26) and Alianah Therese Velasco (1:24:03:09) completed the podium.

The age group winners were Julius Raphael Cabatingin (11-12), Jhon Andry Labuga (13-14) and again Gaerlan (15-16) in the boys class and Magpantay (15-16) in the girls' race.

Next up on the PhilCycling calendar is the national trials for road on July 9 and 10 in Clark Pampanga.