Posted by Editoress on 06/26/04
RAAM Day 6
Shrinking Solo Field Begins to Fray
Robic Rides Toward Record, But Doesn't Know It Yet
Day Six of the Insight Race Across America claimed four solo racers; that is the most to withdraw within a 24-hour period since the start on June 20. Robert Rich was the first to announce his exit at 8:30 a.m. EST in Dalhart, Texas. Rich, who was in jeopardy of being disqualified for not making the time cutoff in Dalhart, exacerbated some knee problems by picking up the pace. With pain in his knee but a desire to move onward, Rich aggravated the joint which forced his decision to quit.
Less than two hours later at 10:25 EST, Italian rider, Alessandro Colo, was taken to the hospital in Liberal, Kansas with some internal bleeding and multiple saddle sores. Up until then, Colo had been riding a focused and determined race as one of 14 rookies in this year's RAAM. Rider, physician, and crew will continue on to the finish line in Atlantic City before heading back to Italy.
Andrew Lapkass spent at least seven hours in Dalhart, Texas today before deciding to pull out of the race. Lapkass had been plagued by stomach problems from early in the race which affected his nutrition and consequently his performance. His crew scrapped his mostly liquid diet plan in favor of the burgers and fries that Lapkass said he craved. A revitalized Lapkass charged ahead on his transcontinental mission but was downed with back spasms by the time he reached Texas. A reluctant Lapkass withdrew at 3:30 EST.
Sometime between 3:30 and 6 p.m. EST in Guymon, Okla., James Rosar dismounted his bike for the last time in this year's RAAM. Knee problems and exhaustion were cited as the cause of his departure from the race. Distinguished by his diminutive size, Rosar garnered status as an "unlikely participant in RAAM," but, by the time he withdrew, Rosar had put 1,191.2 miles and 45,140 feet of climbing behind him.
Jure Robic continues to hold tightly onto the lead in the solo race but today ushered in a rousing quandary: how do you tell the guy who only wants to win the race that he is on track to break the solo record?
"To break the record was not the objective before the race," said Robic crewmember, Janez Slapar, "the plan was just to win."
This is Robic's second RAAM and, unlike last year, the four-time Slovenian National Road Champion has trained with a specific goal to win this race.
"Physically he was good in 2003, but not mentally," said Slapar. "This year he is very good both physically and mentally."
Add the fact that Robic will become a father in July and his mental focus is on winning this race for himself, his wife, Petra, and his new baby.
According to veteran crewmembers, Robic's record pace will only get better once the road turns skyward in the Appalachian Mountains. Bored by flat terrain, Robic is looking forward to the hills of West Virginia and Pennsylvania where he is at his best.
But the question remains the same as to whether Robic's squad will let him in on the secret.
"We don't need to," was the reply when a RAAM field reporter asked them when they would tell Robic that he was on course to break the record. The current RAAM record for solo men is a speed average of 15.40 mph. At present Robic maintains a pace of 15.53 mph. Should Robic break the record before his crew decides to tell him, he will be in for a pleasant surprise in Atlantic City.
Despite going as hard as they can, the four-man Royal Air Force team continues to lose ground to category competitors, Action Sports and Vail - Go Fast. Without conceding anything, RAF searches for chinks in the leaders' formidable power.
The decision to withdraw from RAAM does not come easily to the racers who have invested hours of training, sacrificed time with their families, and convinced their crewmembers to share their goal. Add it up and these racers are riding farther in ten days than most amateur racers ride in a single season. RAAM racers are a breed of ultra endurance athletes who have mastered the balance between physical ability and mental toughness. They are performers who define themselves by conquering the things that intimidate them, such as a 2,959-mile bike race.
All race times are in EST; stay tuned to www.raceacrossamerica.org for up-to-the-minute race status.
Team Action Sports has CDN rider Nat Faulkner, and you can view statistics of their ride at Here
Team Coast is Kevin Wallace and Jeff Rushton. Follow their ride at Here
Dist Time (miles) (d.hh.mm)(av. speed) Men's Solo 1 Jure Robic 2063.6 5.12.53 (15.53mph) 2 Michael Trevino 2013.9 5.13.08 (15.13mph) 3 Wolfgang Fasching 1916.5 5.13.19 (14.38mph) 4 Rob Kish 1772.0 5.10.33 (13.57mph) 5 Dino Nico Valsesia 1772.0 5.13.15 (13.30mph) 6 David Haase 1714.9 5.06.33 (13.55mph) 7 Enrico De Angeli 1714.9 5.11.21 (13.06mph) 8 Andrew Otto 1661.3 5.11.26 (12.64mph) 9 Guus Moonen 1475.6 5.08.21 (11.50mph) 10 Randy Van Zee 1475.6 5.09.30 (11.39mph) 11 Peter Holy 1363.1 5.12.48 (10.26mph) DNF Alessandro Colo' (Saddle Sore) 1191.2 4.14.56 (10.74mph) DNF James Rosar (Exhaustion) 1191.2 4.19.39 (10.30mph) DNF Pius Achermann (Saddle Sores) 1119.7 3.08.31 (13.91mph) DNF Andrew Lapkass (Back Spasms) 1074.1 4.12.16 (9.92mph) DNF Robert Rich (Knee Problem) 1074.1 4.18.01 (9.42mph) DNF Tracy McKay (Strained Quad) 863.3 3.14.29 (9.98mph) DNF Scott Dakus (Knee Problem) 716.0 2.14.38 (11.43mph) DNF Russ Goodwin (Crew left) 553.7 2.02.18 (11.01mph) Two Person Male 1 Team Coast To Coast 1962.6 4.06.34 (19.13mph) 2 Team TBW Brasil 1418.2 4.03.40 (14.23mph) 3 Team New England 1418.2 4.04.43 (14.08mph) Two Person Mixed 1 Team Velowear.com/Co-Motion 1661.3 4.05.01 (16.45mph) 2 Team No Limits 1475.6 4.06.58 (14.33mph) Four Person Male 1 Team Action Sports 2377.5 4.06.27 (23.21mph) 2 Team Vail - Go Fast 2327.2 4.04.31 (23.15mph) 3 Team Royal Air Force 2160.6 4.05.04 (21.38mph) 4 Team Swiss Canon 2113.2 4.05.55 (20.73mph) 5 Team Extra Distance 1772.0 4.04.44 (17.59mph) 6 Team Grand PAC Masters 1598.1 4.03.27 (16.07mph) Four Person Male HPV 1 Team ALS Lightning 2459.0 4.05.25 (24.25mph) Four Person Female 1 Team Vail B2B Divas 1772.0 4.03.07 (17.88mph) 2 Team Frauleins 1539.9 4.06.25 (15.04mph) Four Person Mixed 1 Team Just Sweat - No Tears 1772.0 4.03.20 (17.84mph) Corporate Challenge 1 Team R2R-Kaiser Permanente 2063.6 4.06.07 (20.21mph) 2 Team Insight 2013.9 4.05.35 (19.83mph) 3 Team Rim 2 Rim Cycling 2013.9 4.06.36 (19.63mph)
|Return to Canadian Cyclist homepage | Back to Top|