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RAAM going down to the wire

By:
Peter Hymas
Published:
June 25, 2009, 11:27,
Updated:
June 25, 2009, 22:42
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday June 26, 2009

Solo men leaders separated by minutes, 8-person team on record pace

Slovenia's Jure Robic led Switzerland's Dani Wyss by seven minutes on Wednesday afternoon after almost seven days and 2,450 miles of racing in the Race Across America (RAAM). Over the past three days Wyss, the 2006 RAAM winner, has steadfastly pursued Robic, the defending and 4-time RAAM champion, reducing a deficit of several hours to only minutes in Ohio.

Robic, however, has accrued one hour in time penalties while Wyss is penalty-free. At RAAM's 51st time station in Mt. Airy, Maryland, with only 54.7 miles remaining in the 3021.9 mile race from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland, Robic will have to serve his one-hour penalty which may propel Wyss into the lead.

Robic was on pace to beat Pete Penseyres's 15.4mph average speed record, set in 1986, but he has slowed below record pace in the extreme heat.

Team Type 1, however, competing in the 8-person relay event, is on pace to break the RAAM transcontinental crossing record of five days, nine hours and 43 minutes set in 2008 by the Norwegian Byggkjøp presented by BMC Cycling Team. Through 2,575 miles of the race, Team Type 1 was averaging 23.76 mph. The second-place team in the race, Team ViaSat, was averaging 22.64 mph and riding nearly five-and-a-half hours behind Team Type 1 as of 8 a.m. EDT on Thursday.

Team Type 1's eight-person RAAM team consists of Jeff Bannink, Simon Bennett, Alex Bowden, Matt Brooks, Tom Kingery, Lonny Knabe, Bob Schrank and Mark Suprenant, all of whom have Type 1 diabetes.