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Race Across America - NE
USA, June 10-22, 2007
Day 1 - June 10
Robic takes the early lead
By Danny Chew
The 26th annual bicycle Race Across America started at Noon Eastern Standard Time with four "24 Hour" 6-8 person teams (racing to Flagstaff, AZ) and 30 solo riders leaving Oceanside, CA in a 13 mile Parade start (neutral zone). Just one mile in, Great Britain's Jim Rees' seat came loose, but a friend riding with him fixed it, and they caught back up with the pack stopped, waiting for the official start.
Riders departed on a 30 second interval staggered start with new race director Terry Zmrhal starting the solo riders by age going from oldest (66 year old Philip Baker) to youngest (28 year old Larry Optis) after the teams. The rest of the teams leave on Tuesday afternoon.
At the first time station (Lake Henshaw, CA) - managed by Greg Olmstead, Kenny Souza's Team Clif Bar took command of the 24 Hour race arriving 4 minutes ahead of American Specialty Health Riders. In the men's solo race, Jure Robic charged away to a 13 minute lead over Aussie Richard Vollebregt who did a one minute stop, and was still waiting for it to warm up. Rolling through 2 minutes after Richard was 3 time winner Wolfgang Fasching.
In the women's race, Hana Ebertova lead Caroline van den Bulk by 16 minutes. 59 year old Patty Riddle was the last rider 1:05 behind Hana and 1:49 after Robic.
At TS#2 in Salton Sea, Robic increased his lead over Vollebregt to 30 minutes, and Gerhard Gulewicz passed Fasching to move into 3rd place. Like Robic, Team Clif Bar continued to pull away in the 24 Hour race, but Swami's Team overtook American Specialty Health Riders for 2nd place.
At time station #3 in Chiriaco Summit, Robic lead by 40 minutes, but defending champ Daniel Wyss rode into 2nd place 8 minutes ahead of Vollebregt tied with Fasching.
Team Strong Heart prepares
By Tim Case (Team Strong Heart)
The year and a half journey to the start line of the 2007 Race Across America is almost complete, as the race begins at 2PM tomorrow, June 12. With the solo riders already out on the race course, the tension amongst the Team Strong Heart crew and riders was at an extremely high level as our caravan rolled into a shopping centre parking lot at 5AM several days ago.
Team Strong Heart was created for the express purpose of promoting and supporting Camp Odayin, which is a summer camp in northern Minnesota that is run for kids with serious cardiac conditions. Through the support of our generous sponsors as well as an untold number of people who have donated their time and effort, Team Strong Heart will be lining up to contest what has been called "the world's most difficult bicycle race."
Our team consists of a mix of Category III and Category IV road riders, as well as a number of expert level mountain bikers. None of us, crew or racers, have ever been a part of a RAAM. Team Strong Heart is, by design, a dedicated group of cyclists and supporters who are participating in the RAAM solely for the love of the sport of cycling.
Having spoken with a number of racers since our arrival in Oceanside, California, several days ago, a common theme amongst all of us is the pure passion for cycling. Team Strong Heart is committed to a healthy and safe race across America.
Looking forward to the start of the race, I am personally a mixed-bag of emotions. Some of this includes fear, excitement, reservation, curiosity and fear. Each member of Team Strong Heart and every rider in the RAAM has had to come to terms with the sheer numbers involved in this race... the climbing (something like four times the height Mt. Everest), the distance (across 14 states) and the toll that training and preparing for this race has taken on all of our lives.
A close friend of mine once spoke of bicycle racing and training as a "jealous mistress," one who consumes great time and expense with sometimes little reward. Indeed, all of these ideas will come to a head as Team Strong Heart arrives at the start line on the docks of the Pacific Ocean, bikes and hearts pointed eastward towards the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Stay tuned for frequent updates from the road as I recap and analyze what Team Strong Heart is up to out there during the RAAM. Until then...
Men's Solo 1 Jure Robic 488.9 1.03.24 (17.84mph) 2 Wolfgang Fasching 452.8 1.01.20 (17.87mph) 3 Daniel Wyss 452.8 1.02.22 (17.17mph) 4 Gerhard Gulewicz 452.8 1.02.39 (16.99mph) 5 Richard Vollebregt 389.9 1.00.58 (15.62mph) 6 Fabio Biasiolo 389.9 1.01.50 (15.09mph) 7 Brett Walker 389.9 1.03.13 (14.33mph) 8 Jeff Oatley 341.6 0.20.46 (16.45mph) 9 David Jones 341.6 0.23.18 (14.66mph) 10 Julio Paterlini 341.6 0.23.39 (14.44mph) 11 John Jurczynski 341.6 0.23.46 (14.37mph) 12 Peter Oyler 341.6 0.23.54 (14.29mph) 13 Jean Marc Velez 341.6 0.23.56 (14.27mph) 14 Patrick Autissier 341.6 0.23.59 (14.24mph) 15 Larry Optis 341.6 1.00.33 (13.91mph) 16 Attila Kaldy 341.6 1.01.16 (13.52mph) 17 Alfiero Tassinari 341.6 1.01.18 (13.50mph) 18 John Spurgeon 341.6 1.01.35 (13.35mph) 19 Tom Seabourne 341.6 1.02.35 (12.85mph) 20 Claudio Clarindo de (Oliviera) 341.6 1.02.48 (12.75mph) 21 Walter Blaettler 341.6 1.02.59 (12.66mph) 22 Jim Rees 281.7 0.23.36 (11.94mph) 23 Philip Baker 281.7 1.01.04 (11.24mph) 24 Lou Lamoureux 281.7 1.01.58 (10.85mph) Women's Solo 1 Kerry White 341.6 1.02.56 (12.68mph) 2 Caroline van den Bulk 281.7 0.22.57 (12.27mph) 3 Lauren Fithian 281.7 0.23.14 (12.12mph) 4 Hana Ebertova 281.7 1.01.43 (10.95mph) 5 Patty Riddle 228.4 0.23.11 (9.85mph) Men's Solo - Enduro 1 Alessandro Colo 281.7 0.23.29 (12.00mph) 24 Hour Corporate Challenge 1 Team Clif Bar 488.9 0.23.29 (20.82mph) 2 American Specialty Health Riders 488.9 1.01.16 (19.35mph) 3 Swami's TeamSam.com 488.9 1.01.41 (19.04mph) 4 Denver Paramedic Cycling Team 452.8 1.01.52 (17.51mph)