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21st Race Across America (RAAM)

San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ, June 15-June 27, 2003

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Day 9 - June 23

Teaming with Excitement

Race notes by Scott Johnson, RAAM HQ

Atlantic City, NJ, 1:45PM RAAM Time. Race Across America waits for no one. No weather condition, no photo op, no technical or human frailty, RAAM waits for no person, place or thing.

Since last night we've reveled with many of the best cyclists in the world, and those who use their passion for cycling as a serious recreational vocation. Whether serious pro or serious amateur, they reached the finish line in championship manner.

Team Harreither won the 4-person Men's Division with a time of 6 days, 6 hours, 30 minutes, pedaling across the boardwalk finish at 10:30PM, Sunday.

Thomas Rieper joked, "I feel great! I want to turn around and race back".

I poked fun at the old man of the team, 41-year old Peter Schwab. He managed a smile.

His teammate Peter Dammerer said, "Yes, this 'old man' saved us. He did all the hard racing."

Very touching was the tribute paid to fallen RAAM racer, Brett Malin. The Austrian team held up a sign they had made:

Brett Malin
Team Vail - Go Fast"

In San Diego, before the start, Team Harreither was intense, focused on the race and their chief competition, Team Vail. With the death of one of the stars of the very talented Colorado team, the four men were shaken. Clearly respectful, even emotional.

Captain Reinhard Hormann made a point to apologize for his statements early in the race when his team had received a time penalty - for racing without a support vehicle.

"I realize RAAM was doing this for safety…for our best. The tragic death of Brett Malin is felt by all of us," the somber Hormann said.


Second place finisher in the 4-person Men's Division belongs to Team Arete, the second most mispronounced name of 2003 RAAM (after Harreither).

Six days, 15 hours, 3 minutes…a very good time concerning winning was not the top priority.

"This wasn't an 'all out' competition for us," said Arete's Myles Murphy. "Our goal going in was to enjoy the experience, and we did."

The handsome, talented quartet consists of Myles, Ryan Dawkins, Billy Masterson, and Justin Ryckebusch.


Following Team Arete this morning was the first place winner in the 4 person Mixed Team division, Team Hydro Charge. This thoroughly enjoyable team laughs as hard as they race and their closeness showed in a performance of 6 days, 16 hours, 33 minutes.

Captain Charlie Engel, a veteran of Eco-Challenge and other extreme sports said,

"I've raced many times in many different venues. On the surface, Team RAAM may seem weaker by virtue of shared responsibilities. But I can tell you, RAAM is clearly one of the very toughest races ever."

Dianette Strange was tired but elated to be in Atlantic City.

Stephani Jackenthal was ebullient and proud of her efforts on behalf of her Mom, to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Research.

Personal trainer and motivational speaker, Toby Evans summed up his feelings for the team and RAAM.

"We drew off each other's energy. When someone was going through a bad time, someone was there to pick him or her up. Ultra cycling parallels life very strongly with all the emotions of love and hate and everything in between. It shows us we have to care about each other and whether it's an impossible stretch of roadway or paying bills - not to take things too seriously."


One hour later at 6 days, 17 hours, 20 minutes, history was cemented. The first 1st place winner ever in a Race Across America Corporate Challenge Division was crowned.

Team Insight was proud and satisfied and clearly touched by this incredible experience.

"I am so proud that my company supports a sporting event like this," Peter Reblitz said, "It shows that we work for a very special company and one that shares in many important ideals."

Tim Baker closed off the statements at the finish line with a short list of thanks to crew, RAAM officials and one very special person…

"We are praying for Brett Malin's family and wear these black bands in his honor."

The other members of Team Insight who shared in the moment and share in the class of a superior company are: Richard Daggett, Jeff Easter, Chris Heath, Trish O'Keefe, John Olson and Nardo J.B. Rodriquez.


In three years of RAAM finishes, I've never shared in a moment of such pure emotion as was conveyed by Ride to Remember.

This San Diego team was formed by Tom Paluch to honor his friend, Dr. Mark Milford. Dr. Milford was killed on his way to a California cycling event in 1999.

Tom couldn't speak for several minutes, tears streaming down his face, the emotion of a lost friend and of an unbelievable tribute through the successful crossing of America rich in his heart.

Seeing Tom trying to be strong, caused every other racer to well up. This team is filled from top to bottom with remarkably caring people. They love so much and are strong enough to show it.

They are: Andy Blumenfeld, Mary Boris, Peter Dowhan, Warren James, Jonathan Riegler, Matthew Weidlin and Mark Schumacher.

Except for Peter and Jonathan, Race Across America was the first bike race for everyone on Ride to Remember.



Positions at approx 22:00 RAAM time

Men's Solo
1 Allen Larsen                     2760.9 (13.56 mph)
2 Rob Kish                         2583.7 (12.71 mph)
3 Jure Robic                       2538.9 (12.57 mph)
4 Marcel Knaus                     2538.9 (12.52 mph)
5 Rick Ashabranner                 2494.8 (12.36 mph)
6 Terry Lansdell                   2494.8 (12.13 mph)
7 Marko Baloh                      2448.5 (12.12 mph)
8 Martin Lorenz                    2448.5 (11.95 mph)
9 Dino Nico Valsesia               2406.1 (11.92 mph)
10 Ish Makk                        2406.1 (11.91 mph)
11 Keith Krombel                   2205.1 (10.72 mph)
12 Beny Furrer                     2150.0 (10.57 mph)
13 Mark Patten                     2150.0 (10.51 mph)
14 Attila Kaldi                    2053.1 (10.13 mph)
15 Paul Bonds                      2002.1 (9.91 mph)
Solo (Withdrawn)
1 Rebecca Smith                    1887.2 (9.83 mph)
2 Fabio Biasiolo (water retention) 1760.8 (12.94 mph)
3 Fredi Virag - (dehydration)       120.7 (11.76 mph)
Two Person Men's Team
1 Epic Racing                      2760.9 (15.81 mph)
2 Rieper / Goodwin                 2715.1 (15.80 mph)
Four Person Men's Team
1 Team Harreither/VAV Versich      2921.7 (19.45 mph)
2 Areté Racing                     2921.7 (18.37 mph)
3 Team FOI                         2921.7 (17.11 mph)
4 Power of Mind                    2921.7 (17.02 mph)
Four Person Mixed Team
1 Team Hydro Charge                2921.7 (18.20 mph)
2 Grupo Guapo by Healthy Cho       2760.9 (15.88 mph)
Corporate Team
1 Team Insight                     2921.7 (18.09 mph)
2 Ride To Remember                 2921.7 (17.89 mph)
Teams (Withdrawn)
1 Team Vail - Go Fast               631.2 (20.36 mph)