by Dave Delgado
Guam - Local cyclists had a chance to compete against off island racers in the Tour of Guam and Guam Long Ride last weekend. Both events started at the Ada's Capitol Plaza building in Hagatna and journeyed through the beautiful southern end of the island.
Ben Ferguson, Race Director, said, "We had a total of 291 participants this weekend for the Tour of Guam and Guam Long Ride. Everything was just worked out really well for the event. Weather cooperated and we had riders from Japan, Korea and a group of rides who came over from Saipan. So fairly good international distribution of riders, most of the riders we got came out of Japan. We had about 72 out of Japan and of course the winner of the men's race came out of Korea. A gentleman by the name of Ka On Cho who won the men's Tour of Guam long course."
The Tour of Guam serves as the signature competitive cycling event for age group racers from Guam, the CNMI, and Asia and also serves as the annual National Championship for Guam's cycling athletes.
Ferguson added, "First and foremost it provides all of our local cycling athletes with a great world class event in their back yard. It also raises the public's awareness of cycling on Guam which is equally important top all of us that call Guam our home and ride bikes on Guam. Anyone that was driving on the southern roads last Sunday would have definitely seen quite a few cyclists out. So that's a tremendous benefit but then again it's very important that we establish a signature cycling event like this. This also serves as Guam's national cycling championship. This race has implications as far as who gets named to Guam's National Cycling Team and who can potentially compete in the Olympics. You of course know that Guam has had quite a few cycling athlete Olympians. Everybody from Derek Horton to Jazzy Garcia to Martin Santos and a whole list of other guys that have been able to compete in the Olympics in cycling. And so this again provides our athletes with the opportunity to compete against one another and then eventually compete off island in some international cycling events."