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Race Across America - NE

USA, June 10-22, 2007

Main Page    Results   Overall standings     Next Day

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                    488.9  1.01.41 (19.04mph)
4 Denver Paramedic Cycling Team          452.8  1.01.52 (17.51mph)