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RAAM Round-up: Robic makes it two-in-a-row

The reigning champion, Jure Robic, concluded his domination of the2005 Insight Race Across America through furnace-like conditionson a refreshingly cool, cloudy evening on the Atlantic CityBoardwalk. He completed the 3,502 miles in 9 days, 8 hours and 48minutes. Throughout this unusually hot race, Robic proved far moreresilient than any of his rivals to the brutal heat that bore downfrom above and bounced mercilessly back off the road. When the Appalachian mountains rose as the final, dauntingchallenge to legs weary from 2,500 miles' racing, Robic remainedsmooth and strong. No rider at

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Robic arrives in Atlantic City

Robic arrives in Atlantic City

Photo: Chris Milliman

The reigning champion, Jure Robic, concluded his domination of the2005 Insight Race Across America through furnace-like conditionson a refreshingly cool, cloudy evening on the Atlantic CityBoardwalk. He completed the 3,502 miles in 9 days, 8 hours and 48minutes.

Throughout this unusually hot race, Robic proved far moreresilient than any of his rivals to the brutal heat that bore downfrom above and bounced mercilessly back off the road.

When the Appalachian mountains rose as the final, dauntingchallenge to legs weary from 2,500 miles’ racing, Robic remainedsmooth and strong. No rider at any point in the race mounted aserious challenge to Robic; he rode supreme.

Yet driving alongside the 40 year-old Slovenian, whose wife boretheir child almost exactly one year ago, one gained the impressionfrom the pained expression on his stony face that although thiswin was distant, it was far from easy.

“This year was much harder than 2004. There was more climbing, andhigh temperatures. I did not expect such high temperatures, Isuffered much,” said Robic at the finish. He was shaky on hisfeet, and when raising his 17lb bicycle above his head, heteetered on the edge of his balance. It was the unrelenting heatthat really got him.

“I did no training for high temperatures. In Slovenia thetemperature is normally about 25C (77F), but in the first day (ofRAAM) it was 45C (110F). I had luck and good regeneration. Thatwas my winning formula.”

Robic’s main challenger, Mike Trevino of San Diego, never reallygot going. Early in the race he suffered from gastric problems,then approaching Indianapolis, Trevino fell and separated hisshoulder so ending his 2005 challenge.

Robic’s friend and old rival, Marko Baloh, contracted pneumoniaafter a spirited chase of the champion, and had to retire shortlybefore Fort Scott, Kansas.

With these two worthy rivals gone, Robic was left far out infront, with a gap of more than 12 hours to the second-place battlebetwen the dashing Italian Fabio Biasiolo and ex-pat AmericanChris MacDonald, who now lives in Denmark. At the time Robicfinished, MacDonald and Biasiolo were almost 200 miles behind.

Yet it was never easy for Robic. When passing through Athens,Ohio, Robic climbed off his bike and it took a pep talk to get himback into the saddle. “This usually happens at one point in therace each year,” explained a member of the Robic crew. But withouta rival to push him, Robic had to dig deep to find the motivationto push through the relentless pain and fatigue of the solo RAAM.He found it within.

“My motivation came from my heart. That and this picture (of hiswife and child). I miss my wife and family. I am really lookingforward to seeing them when I go home.” Behind the chiseledfeatures, the stony expression, and his awesome cycling power,most believe that RAAM’s two-time champion has a soft center.

 V3 Team – Great Britain
By Paul Skilbeck
A former professional soccer player was one of three Britons and anAmerican making up Team 3V, which finished 6th out of 8 in the Four PersonMale category of RAAM, June 28, with a time of 6 days,
22 hours and 12 minutes (average speed 18.36 mph). Colin Cleminson,of Pilgrim’s Hatch, Essex, found the Insight Race Across America was aninspirational experience.”I am not used to the long, sleepless nights. The race was good, bad,everything. When every ounce of strength is gone and you’ve got to getback on the bike at 2 a.m., that is incredibly tough.
This is physically the hardest thing I have done. It has opened myeyes to endurance racing. It takes tremendous mental and inner strengthto cope with all the stresses this race puts on you.”Cleminson currently sponsors an elite junior cycle racing team thatincludes Alex Dowsett, Russell Hampton, Alex Atkins, and Kristian Downs.”I would like to emulate that in some way with RAAM,” He explained.”Next year I’d like to bring back a crack 4-person team of time trialliststo have a shot at the record (average speed 23.06 mph).”Cleminson, who owns the Bike Trax cycle shop, is a former Fulham FCprofessional soccer player who lists as his most cherished athletic featsscoring a goal against Chelsea and playing with George Best. RAAM may benot far down his list, having given him  “something to treasure, agreat memory.”Women’s Solo
Having pedaled 2517.8 so far, Anna Catharina Berg is nearly at thefinishing stretch but before that, she still has to assail the mountainsof West Virginia. Berg passed through Time Station #45 in Athens, Ohioat 16:23. Berg has 533.9 miles until the finish.Mobile Medics
By Wendy Booher
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (8:49 EDT June 28, 2005) The eight-doctorTeam Donate Life arrived at the finish line this morning shortly past 10,however a collective time credit put them over the finish line at 8:49.RAAM granted each team a grieving time credit of 15 minutes following theannouncement of Bob Breedlove’s death. After notifying HQ, teams couldtake more time if they desired.With over 50 years’-worth of collective medical experience and monthsof training in their legs, team spokesperson, Eric Heiden, called upontheir job requirements as perhaps the best training for RAAM.”Because so many of us were involved in ancillary treatments,” explainedHeiden, “we know what it’s like to go through 5-7 days of sleep deprivation.”Eight-man Team Donate Life completed RAAM with a time of 6 days, 15hours, 28 minutesGetting IT Done: Team Insight Wins Corporate Category
By Wendy Booher
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (4:54 June 28, 2005) The problem with sponsoringyour own race is entering your own team — what if they don’t win? Earlythis morning Team Insight hushed skeptics when they arrived in first placefor the corporate category.RAAM, a race characterized by constantly changing calculations, offeredthe team of protean IT professionals an outlet where to expend all thatleft-brain power. Dependent on terrain, Team Insight enlisted the bestman for the job of “laying it all out on the road.””Every pull was a time-trial,” said newest team member Mark Chesney,”You always give whatever you can give. You don’t want to have enough energyleft over to say, ‘I could have done better.”Earlier this week, Team Insight had two RAAM records in their crosshairs:an average speed record and the sub six-day transcont crossing record.Hindering factors of heat, humidity and the surprisingly nasty climbs ofWest Virginia might have deterred the team from achieving their goals.Team Insight missed the average speed record of 19.84 mph by a slim 24mph. The team posted a transcontinental crossing time of 6 days, 11 hours,33 minutes.Today, Tuesday, June 28 looks to be crowded day here at the finish linein Atlantic City so keep watch over teams arriving throughout the day.Next up at 10 a.m. Team JDRF VeloKraft, followed by Team Inspiration GBat 10:18 and Team Donate Life at 10:23.Men’s Solo
With a large crowd gathered in front of Boardwalk Hall, Jurie Robicfinished RAAM in 9 days, 8 hours and 48 minutes (unofficial) (Stay tunedfor more on Jure Robic. Story to be distributed shortly). Today Fabio Biasolopassed off -no doubt reluctantly -second-place to Chris MacDonald. MacDonaldpassed through Time Station #51 in Hancock, Md. at 13:50 this afternoon.Two hours later Fabio Biasolo called from TS 51 15:47. From Hancock, Md.MacDonald and Biasolo each have 263.1 miles to go.Two-person Mixed Division
Since yesterday, Team Endorphins has opened up a sizeable lead overGrupo Guapo. Team Endorphins passed through Time Station #44 in Laurelville,Ohio at 14:42. Trailing Endorphins by 5 hours, 15 minutes at Time Station#42 in Troy, Ohio. Grupo Guapo last called in from TS #43 in London, Ohio-625miles from the finish–at 16:25.Two-person Men’s Division
Team Lower Austria-Krems just crossed the finish line and takes firstplace in the Two-person Men’s Division. Check  www.raceacrossamerica.org/racestats/report.aspx?report=RiderInfo&RiderId=406for final results for Team Lower Austria-Krems. Team Crazy Gones stayssteady in the second-place position. The Crazy Gones checked in last fromTime Station #52 in Rouzerville, Pa. at 15:06. Crazy Gones have pedaled2837.2 miles so far with 214.7 miles yet to go. Team 60+ hangs tough inthird having reached Time Station #45 in Athens, Ohio at 15:08. Team 60+has covered 2517.8 miles so far and 533.9 miles to go.Four-person Mixed Division
Cheniere’s Making Cancer History slipped over the finish line thisafternoon at 14:08 with a time of 6 days, 20 hours, 57 minutes. In thenumber two spot, Landis Team Phoenix has just arrived at the finish line.Check http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/racestats/report.aspx?report=RiderInfo&RiderId=406for final results for Landis Team Phoenix.Four-person Women’s Division
Roaring Fork Volvo B2B Divas just crossed the finish line. Check http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/racestats/report.aspx?report=RRoaring &RiderId=406for final results for Roaring Fork Volvo B2B Divas.Four-person Men’s Division
With only one four-man team still on the road, bicycle traffic on AtlanticCity’s boardwalk became brisk within the last 24 hours. Swiss team IWCSchaffhausen wrapped up RAAM in second place June 27 at 16:07 with a timeof 5 days, 22 hours, 56 minutes. (see story below) Third-place Kern Wheelmen- Advocare crossed the finish line at 21:17 June 27 with a time of 6 days,4 hours, 6 minutes. Team Inspiration GB ended their RAAM campaign by crossingthe finish at 10:03 today, posting a time of 6 days, 16 hours, 52 minutes.Webcor Builders Endurance Team arrived just shortly after noon at 12:47with a time of 6 days, 19 hours, 36 minutes. Nearly back-to-back finishesbrought in Team 3V at 15:23 with a time of 6 days, 22 hours, 12 minutesand Team Mucho Gusto at 16:24 with a time of 6 days, 23 hours, 13 minutes.Four-person Recumbent
ALS-Bacchetta set a new RAAM record for a four-man recumbent team.ALS – Bacchetta arrived at the finish on June 27 at 20:37 and establisheda record for their transcont crossing of 6 days, 3 hours, 26 minutes. (storybelow) Category runner-up Team JDRF VeloKraft cruised across the finishtoday at 8:57 with a time of 6 days, 15 hours, 46 minutes.Corporate Teams
Nearly right on schedule, Team Insight arrived to the finish in firstplace at 4:54 this morning. With a time of six days, 11 hours, 33 minutes,Team Insight rode a valiant race yet failed to achieve its record-settinggoals for average speed and sub-six day transcont crossing. (see storybelow) Second-place Team Donate Life reached the finish a few hours laterat 8:49 with a time of 6 days, 15 hours, 28 minutes. (see story below)In third position and closing in quickly on the finish, Team Vern’s Inc.last called in from Times Station #52 in Rouzerville, Pa. at 14:45.For up-to-the-moment race progress, visit the “Timestation Info” sectionon the homepage ofwww.raceacrossamerica.org