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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

RAAM riders getting closer

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Race Across America solo bike racers are expected to be going through Brazil on U.S. 40 Friday and/or Saturday. The coast-to-coast two-wheeled marathon began Sunday at San Diego, Calif., on Interstate 8 and will finish in Atlantic City, N.J.

Racers have to complete the race within 12 days and two hours to be considered official finishers. The Race Across America is physically and mentally grueling as the riders go almost non-stop. Many cyclists average two to three hours of sleep per day. Most get much less than that, sleeping only an hour or taking a 10-minute "power sleep" when they can physically go no further.

According to a 1993 Outside magazine report, The RAAM is considered the most physically demanding event on the planet. The magazine ranked it ahead of an around-the-world sailing race, the Iditarod Sled Dog Race and the U.S. Army's Best Ranger competition.

The only Hoosier participating in the race is Chris Stauffer, 71, of Fort Wayne. Stauffer is a member of the four-man Team Grand PAC Masters who count 280 years of racing among its riders.

They are trying to set a new record in their age category. The current record for a four-person team for the men's 60-plus is held by Grand PAC Masters at six days, 20 hours and 27 minutes set in 1995.

Three members of the team are 70, 71 and 72 years of age. But the fourth rider is just 68 so the team does not qualify for the 70-plus category. Team Grand PAC Masters position after approximately one day and six hours is 6th out of 6 in the four-person male category.

The top 10 positions after one day and six hours for men's solo riders are:

1. Jure Robic, Slovenia. 2. Michael Trevino, USA. 3. Wolfgang Fasching, Austria. 4. Pius Acherman, Switzerman. 5. David Haase, USA. 6. Rob Kish, USA. 7. Dino Nico Valsesia, Italy. 8. Andrew Lapkass, USA. 9. Peter Holy, Germany. 10. Andrew Otto, USA.

Robic is maintaining a record-setting RAAM pace of 17.5 mph. Andy Lapkass has placed 8th at two time stations. The 46-year-old is riding with two partially amputated feet.

The solo racers are pressing onward across Arizona and into New Mexico.

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