Posted by Editoress on 06/28/04
New RAAM Record Set by Two-man Team Coast to Coast Against Cancer, Solo Record Evades Robic
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (June 28, 2004) Ã‹â€ Canadians Jeff Rushton and Kevin Wallace rode to a new RAAM record today in Atlantic City. The two-man team delivered a record-breaking performance that reflected beautifully months of disciplined training.
"We couldn't have been a success if he hadn't learned from past experiences," said Wallace. "To be over prepared and supported; it just ran so smoothly."
Their victory, however, took second place behind the reasons they rode in this year's RAAM. Their commitment to raising awareness and funds for cancer charities motivated them to enter RAAM but their ambitions as ultra endurance athletes caused them to speculate on breaking the record.
"We wanted to break the record and our actual plan was to cross the country in six days and 14 hours but we took a wrong turn that cost us 15 minutes," conceded Rushton.
Coast to Coast Against Cancer completed the 2,959-mile race at 7:07 a.m. EST in six days, 14 hours, seven minutes. Their average speed of 18.71 mph. ousted the old record of 17.54 mph. set in 2001 by Discover Ceara'/PowerBar.
Hundreds of people gathered in Kennedy Plaza to welcome men's solo winner, JurÃƒÂ© Robic, across the finish line. Robic, a four-time national road champion from Slovenia, trained to win this race and, at one point, was on pace to break the current average speed record of 15.40 mph set in 1986 by Pete Penseyres. Robic's fast start out of San Diego smoothed out when it was realized that second place Michael Trevino was less of a threat, but then slowed down farther east perhaps due to rain and thunderstorms. His solid form revealed nothing about his mental state during this year's race and this afternoon, a haggard but unusually lucid Robic graciously answered numerous questions about his reasons for doing RAAM.
"I asked myself about this many times... when they put me on the table like a baby and spread my legs like a pregnant woman, then said you must sleep like this for 45 minutes and then wake up and ride. I asked myself, is this worth it?"
While all eyes were fixed on Robic, RAAM organizers handed him a mobile phone where Robic's wife, Petra, who is eight months pregnant with their first child, anxiously waited to speak to her husband. A tearful Robic shared a few words with his wife for the audience and the sentimental audience responded with sighs followed by uproarious cheers.
Slovenia's JurÃƒÂ© Robic finished the 2,959-mile 2004 Insight RAAM at 8:05 p.m. in eight days, nine hours, 51 minutes with an average speed of 14.66 mph.
Fans, friends, and curious onlookers cheered the all-women Vail B2B Divas across the finish line at Kennedy Plaza at 4:15 p.m. this afternoon. Early in the race, the Divas effortlessly pulled away from category contenders Team Frauleins by outpacing the Frauleins with an average speed nearly two miles per hour more. The Divas crossed the country in six days, 23 hours, and 15 minutes at 17.69 mph.
Latest to withdraw from RAAM's solo field is Italy's Dino Nico Valsesia who cited exhaustion as the cause. Valsesia withdrew at 6:37 a.m. EST in Laurelville, Ohio.
All race times are in EST; stay tuned to www.raceacrossamerica.org for up-to-the-minute race status.
Jure Robic, solo "I asked myself about this many times... when they put me on the table like a baby and spread my legs like a pregnant woman, then said you must sleep like this for 45 minutes and then wake up and ride. I asked myself, is this worth it?" "For psychological training, once a month for the first four months of this year, I stayed awake for a full 48 hours. This really helped me in the race. I did not hallucinate this year." "When I came into the finish and I saw all the people applauding me, it made me feel so happy that I made it." "I cannot explain what it means to me personally. I have trained all my life for cycling. The army has been very supportive of me, and for them this is a big victory."
-Michel Bogli: "I don't know if it was because all the days we rode before the hills in West Virginia tired us, but this morning in West Va. was most difficult." "This is my tenth RAAM and every single race is different. Our crew gave us effort and motivation to finish the race." -Cassio Brandao: "I felt it was more difficult in California than in West Virginia, probably because of the heat, perhaps because we were riding fast 30 minutes each." "I think the countryside that we saw; I think it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever have the opportunity to see" "I personally felt a little uncomfortable in Pennsylvania, with very narrow roads with very heavy trucks. The route itself showed us places that we Brazilians don't have an opportunity to see, like Kansas and Missouri."
-Jose Pinto Filho: "My son is affected with spinal muscular atrophy and he gave me the inspiration to do this race. SMA is not a popular disease we still have hopes for a good life for him." "In 2001, I did not expect to win, the only thing I wanted to do was to see him (my son) at the finish line."
Vail B2B Divas, four-person, all women
-Linda Guerrette: "We had a huge tailwind in Oklahoma, I never thought Oklahoma would be exciting for me but it was." "This is an amazing country. The stuff we went through in West Virginia at night had awesome descents." "In all dimensions you can imagine everyone was tested at one time."
-Wendy Lyall: "There was a huge variety of terrain, extremes in temperature, I felt quite unprepared for both." "Waking up in a new state and being told to get on the bike by new crew members, the surreal experience of that magnifies what a huge thing this is." -Heather Sappenfield: "I didn't need to spend any more time on my bike than was absolutely necessary." "It's a great experience that's difficult physically and mentally. The personal interaction between everybody there together in an enclosed space trying to get this thing done and do it well tests your mental and spiritual well being and asks Ã…â€™How big can you be?'." -Kerry White: "There were moments I wasn't sure I would make it back on my bike. I had muscle spasms in my hamstrings but overall I felt pretty good." "We had people on our crew who gave up two weeks of their job to come out here and suffer. No sleep, no pay, running out of gas Ã‹â€ panic after panic but in the end, they got to be very good."
Just Sweat - No Tears, four-person mixed
-Russell Carter: "About 1,000 kilometers out, a Saab came out of nowhere at an intersection. I got a bruise and the adrenaline from that carried me on in. I dislocated my finger but I just wiggled that in." "Concentrating on my finger made me think about my backside a little less." "Toughest part was the Appalachians. They didn't look too bad on the map but you got there at night and thought, Ã…â€™Where did these come from?'"
-Kevin May: "It's a shame I missed out on seeing country by sleeping." "We worked in pairs on eight-hour shifts so we were riding about half the time and sleeping half the time. Ideal would be to go back and see the other half." -Brian Welsh: "We're just a bunch of triathletes so we're really pleased. It's fantastic to beat some elite riders. All the riders in this race are very good; you don't do RAAM without being very good." "We trained very hard and did a lot of work on our nutrition. As the race wore on we didn't fade, we kept a constant pace throughout."
-Helen Wootton: "I'd love to come back. We've learned so much, it would be a shame not to use that knowledge again." "I've done a lot of other endurance sports but the difference is, this will provide me with more long-lasting memories. Most triathlons are over in a flash but on this race, I've had a lot of time to think about the experience and to deliberate." "This is not just about cycling; it's also about being able to get up at 2 a.m. when the temperature is really cold after only 30 minutes of sleep because the RV's been shaking about."
Coast to Coast Against Cancer, two-man-Jeff Rushton: "We wanted to break the record and our actual plan was to cross the country in six days and 14 hours but we took a wrong turn that cost us 15 minutes." "We did two hours on and two hours off and our stops were timed on a stop watch. We'd get off, eat, get massaged, our beds were ready and we'd get up an hour later and spend a half hour getting ready, so it was very structured." "The key thing for us was it was important to win but we wanted to win for the reason why we are going this, to raise awareness for cancer charities." "A huge part of the motivation was that, at the beginning of each shift, the guys read a dedication to someone who has succumbed to cancer. That made all the difference and pushed us that much farther with more purpose." "Regardless of how hard you plan for the event, you're going to have some unbelievable emotional and physical highs and lows."
-Kevin Wallace: "To actually race for something solidifies the purpose of it." "We couldn't have been a success if he hadn't learned from past experiences. To be over prepared and supported; it just ran so smoothly."
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