Endurance racer Janelle dies in sleep

Mike Janelle in the RAAM

Mike Janelle in the RAAM (Image credit: Mark Ridenhour)

American professional racer Mike Janelle died in his sleep after the Thanksgiving holiday. In recent years, Janelle was a regular in the endurance road and mountain bike communities. He was found by his pregnant wife, Maribel early Friday morning when she went to wake him and emergency responders were not able to revive him. Besides his wife, Janelle leaves behind their unborn baby. An official cause of death has not yet been declared for the Tokyo Joes racer.

Just over a month ago, the apparently healthy 40 year-old from Colorado competed with Nat Ross as part of Team Gary Fisher / Tokyo Joes in the 24 hours of Moab. The pair won the duo pro category. Although a regular in recent years at endurance mountain bike events, Janelle had also raced for much of his career on the road, too.

Earlier this year, Janelle was one of the members of Team Beaver Creek - Catlin, the winning four person team at the Race Across American (RAAM). Other team members included Jim Mortenson, Mike Janelle, Nat Ross and Zach Bingham. Janelle was also part of the 2005 and 2006 RAAM winning team, then called Beaver Creek / Vail.

In late July, Janelle finished second by only ten minutes behind Josh Tostado at National Ultra-Endurance Series Round # 4, the Breckenridge 100, on July 22 in Colorado. Earlier in the month, he placed fifth at the USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Marathon championships, also held in Breckenridge.

A fund is being set up by Janelle's team-mates and friends to support Maribel and their unborn baby. More information will be available at www.probikecenter.com when details are finalized.

We at Cyclingnews would like to express our full sympathies to Mike Janelle's friends, family, and riding mates. Messages of condolence can be sent to cyclingnews@cyclingnews.com.

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