Robič scores fifth win in Race Across America
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Robič scores fifth win in Race Across America

by Bjorn Haake at 8:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: General
Slovenian travelled for nine days, one hour and one minute

It took Jure Robič nine days, one hour and one minute to ride from California to the East Coast of the United States. This time netted him his fifth title of the Race Across America (RAAM), after traveling 3005.1 miles across the country. With his average speed of 13.85 mph, he beat Gerhard Gulewicz and Matthew Warner-Smith to the line by several hours.

This three are the only official solo finishers so far. In the women' race, three riders battle if out for the win, after Amy Xu and Sandy Earl abandoned. Barbara Buatois leads by around 200 miles over Michele Santilhano and Sabrina Bianchi, who are both equal on time.

From the four-person teams in the Under 50 category, three have also already reached the finish, with, Inc. prevailing over Team doc2doc and Bent Up Cycles. The four-person mixed team of All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia was the only entrant for their Under 50 category - they would have actually finished second in the four-persons man's category with their time.

Team JDRF won the four-person's race in the 50-59 category. The eight-person open race was taken by team Type 1, which has also a professional road team. Team Type 1 set this year's best time with five days, ten hours and 48 minutes. It was the third victory for the team, after 2007 and 2009.

Subdivided into tow teams - one called Shake, the other one called Bake - Team Type 1 always has special challenges, as Adam Driscoll observes. "I checked my sugar over 50 times per day with my FreestyleLite meter. A very important piece to completing RAAM successfully was having my continuous glucose monitor on. It allowed me to sleep without worrying about waking up to a low."

Solo winner Robič hails from Slovenia and used to race for smaller road racing teams in his country. He took part in the Crocodile Trophy, a tough mountain bike stage race in Australia, and immediately finished third (1999). In 2004 he broke the 24-hour record with 834.77 kilometers. That same year he started his winning ways in the Race Across America - he was the quickest solo rider in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and now this year.

RAAM was first held in 1982. While each rider rides individually in the solo categories, RAAM requires each rider to have a support team with vehicle. There are no stages, only control spots. The riders can choose themselves when to take their rest stops. Most riders do not sleep more than two hours a day, a philosophy that Michael Nehls did not want to subscribe to.

In 2008, he slept a total of 91 hours (the time limit of 12 days equals 288 hours). With that strategy he finished seventh and was fresher than many of the riders who choose to sleep less than ten hours for the entire race. "RAAM is hard but it doesn't have to be agony," he writes on his personal web page.

While his plan of cracking the top three this year with his strategy didn't work out, he lies once again in the top ten - currently in ninth, with less than 400 miles to go.


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