PHILIPPINE mountain biking’s rising star Ariana Dormitorio and Japanese national team member Motoshi Kadota overcame tough challenges to rule their respective divisions in the Asian qualifying leg of the 2017 World Mountain Bike Championship on Saturday at the Nuvali Dirt Weekend in Laguna.
It was an all-Filipina podium finish in the women’s division as Dormitorio, the 19-year-old cross country phenom, banked on her familiarity with the 90-kilometer course to finish first with a time of five hours, 16 minutes and 12 seconds, more than four minutes ahead of second-placer Melissa Jaroda (5:16:45). Avegail Rombaon completed the top three finishers in clocking in at 5:19:45.
“Usually it was just flats and a bit of hills but it was extra challenging because of the rain… magugulat ka na lang nasa sides ka na,” said Dormitorio, who also noted the high level of competition due to the presence of foreign entries such as Portugal, France and Japan.
The 40-year old Kadota, a member of the Japan team from Imabari Prefecture, pulled away in the last 10 kilometers to finish with a time of 4:06:17 despite the muddy conditions. Alvin Benosa of the Philippine Army (4:09:13) came in next and was the fastest Filipino, while clocking in at third place SEA Games veteran Eusebio Quiniones of the Philippine Navy with a time of 4:11:05.
“Sinubukan kong umatake kay Kadota sa New Zealand Trail pero nakalayo siya,” said Benosa, a corporal who admitted his lack of training took its toll in the last loop.
The top 40 riders scored points for their Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Marathon Series ranking in the sanctioned race and are eligible to join the world championship in Germany next year. Nuvali partnered with the UCI for the second consecutive year to host the annual event, which was extended from last year’s 70km distance.
The Nuvali Dirt Weekend also featured its signature event, the 35K Dirt Weekend Cross Country Fun Race that drew more than a thousand participants.