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RAAM 2005 — Team Insight Update

June 29, 2005 – Here are today’s latest standings of the RAAM:

Women’s Solo
Anna Catharina Berge put the mountains of West Virginia behind her today at 12:30 when she passed through Time Station #49 at Gormania, WV. At 353.3 miles from the finish, Berge’s estimated arrival time here to Boardwalk Hall is June 30 at approximately 8:30 p.m. Go Cat!

Men’s Solo
Today under a carwash of rain, second-place Chris MacDonald coasted across the finish line at 12:04 having completed his rookie RAAM in 10 days, 2 hours, 1 minute. THIS JUST IN – Fabio Biasolo arrived just now in RAAM’s sweet spot, when the crowd is the largest and likely the most exuberant: right at the beginning of RAAM’s closing banquet. Biasolo reached the finish at 18:17 with a time of 10 days, 8 hours, 14 minutes. Next to arrive in the Men’s Solo Category, David Haase is on deck to roll in today at approximately 23:15.

Two-person Mixed Division
Within the last 48 hours, Team Endorphins has put more than 100 miles into runner-up Grupo Guapo. Team Endorphins reached through Time Station #51 in Hancock, Md. at 15:45. Endorphins have only 263.1 miles left to go until the finish line. Endorphins and Grupo Guapo have given fans a true virtual spectator event as they have each tried to outpedal the other across the country. At last check, Grupo Guapo last called in from TS #49 in Gormania, WV-14:15. Having ridden already 2698.4 miles, Grupo Guapo has 353.3 miles to go.

Two-person Men’s Division
Team Lower Austria-Krems finished easily in second place at 18:33 on June 28 with a time of 7 days, 1 hours, 17 minutes. A somewhat disappointed Team Crazy Gones accepted second place when they crossed the finish line this morning at 4:59 with a time of 7 days, 11 hours, 43 minutes. (story below) Due in at 6:50 on June 30, Team 60+ will arrive in third place once they cross the finish line. The team of Daniel Crain and Fred Boethling of Team 60+ passed through Time Station #52 in Rouzerville, Pa. at 16:25. They have 214.5 more miles to ride until they finish RAAM.

Four-person Mixed Division
Landis Team Phoenix arrived in second place at 16:38 on June 28 with a time of 6 days, 23 hours, 27 minutes.

Four-person Women’s Division
The Roaring Fork Volvo B2B Divas executed an efficient transcontinental crossing in this year’s RAAM. With three team members returning from last year’s Divas team, The Divas rode a clean race and arrived at the finish line at 17:53 June 28, having crossed the country in 7 days, 42 minutes.

Four-person Men’s Division
The final team in the four-person men’s division, Team Give Life, finished a purposed race with the intention of increasing awareness of the chronic shortage of the U.S. blood supply and encourage the donation of blood, blood products, organs and tissues. Content with achieving their goal, the team crossed the finish line today 7:50 with a time of 7 days, 14 hours, 39 minutes. (story below)

Corporate Teams
The team without a crew, Team Vern’s Inc. rode in this morning at 3:26 with a time of 7 days, 10 hours, 5 minutes. (story below) At the more respectable hour of 8:33, the final team in the corporate category, Team Dry Heat, finished RAAM in 7 days, 15 hours, 12 minutes.
For up-to-the-moment race progress, visit the “Timestation Info” section on the homepage of www.raceacrossamerica.org

All race times are in EST; stay tuned to www.raceacrossamerica.org for results, race reports and photos.

Giving Back – Team Give Lives Tells You How
By Wendy Booher

Like a police lineup for do-gooders, Team Give Life filed onto the awards stage this morning after crossing the finish line at 7:50. Lurking among this team, Lou Lamoureux, revealed to the audience nothing that gave away his identity as a kidney-transplant patient.

Lamoureux, a gold medallist in the 2002 World Transplant Games, received a kidney from his mother in 2000. Lamoureux and his four-man Team Give Life endured RAAM to finish with a greater purpose of increasing awareness of the chronic shortage of the U.S. blood supply and encourage the donation of blood, blood products, organs and tissues. The race, according to comments from Lamoureux, was secondary to their stated. mission

“I think for 6-7 days we knew we were going up against tough competition,” said Lamoureux, “the important thing was to spread the word about blood, organ and tissue donation.”

Lamoureux pointed out that during a crisis, such as 9/11, Americans came out in droves to give blood but the day-to-day need for blood donation sometimes falls on the shoulders of charitable members of the medical community.

Team Give Life completed RAAM with a time of 7 days, 14 hours, 39 minutes.


Crazy Gones
By Paul Skilbeck

Crossing the finish line, disappointment was written all over the faces of the first French riders ever to enter the Insight Race Across America. Dominique Briand and Pascal Pechallat rolled into Atlantic City, New Jersey, at 5 a.m., 7 days, 11 hours and 43 minutes after leaving San Diego 3,052 miles ago.

The crack French duo had been favorite to win the Two-Person division, but as is often the case with RAAM rookies, so many things went wrong in their first attempt at this race.

“We had problems with logistics, our team, and our equipment,” explained Pascal Pechellat on Atlantic City’s famous Boardwalk. Pointing to his bicycle seat, which was covered with duct tape and to his rear end, Pechellat added that he had been troubled by saddle sores.

“We are fighters, but it was not enough. This is a very, very big race,” Pechellat went on. He was gracious about the Lower Austria – Krems team, which for much of the race had looked like challenging the average speed record that Pechellat and Briand had come to RAAM hoping to break. “The Austrians were incredible. In Colorado we were separated by only 30 minutes. We tried to catch them, but… it is too difficult to explain in English all the things that happened.”

Searching for perspective, Pechellat commented that their time was respectable, but he added that his goal was to have finished in under seven days. In the tough conditions of the 2005 RAAM, not even the experienced Krems team managed that.

The Briand-Pechallat duo, racing solo or together had distinguished themseleves as front-runners in European competitions such as Paris-Bordeaux, Paris-Brest-Paris, and Race Across The Alps. Yet when it came to RAAM, they agreed that lack of experience in this toughest of the tough races was their undoing. “For the Krems team, it was a lot easier. They have already competed – and won – here in the 4-person competition,” said Pechallat.

The two Frenchmen were also agreed that they do not plan to return to RAAM. “It was too hard finding money, being away from my family and work,” said Pechallat, adding that “We wanted to do well here at our first attempt.” Briand nodded his agreement.

That said, they will keep many positive memories of their experience here. “It is a great race with great participants,” said Pechallat. “The team of Patrick Autissier, which spoke French, helped me a lot with my saddle sores. And I enjoyed riding and talking with Chris MacDonald and Jim Trout. There was a great sense of cameraderie.”


The Vern’s Inc.
By Paul Skilbeck

Rolling across the finish line amid a flurry of wisecracks and giggles, the happiest team in the race, Vern’s Inc., made RAAM history by becoming the first team to make the coast-to-coast crossing without a crew. Well, that’s not quite true: they did have a driver.

Prior to the race, RAAM management had discussed whether or not to permit the team to enter, given that they refused to take on a support crew. It was considered potentially unsafe. In the end a compromise was reached when the team took on the driver.

According to April Guinchard, the team captain, the team was not actually racing at all. Rather, the group of mountain bikers and adventure racers came to RAAM looking for a new challenge. The 3052 miles took the team a respectable 7 days, 10 hours and 5 minutes.

“It was unbelievably easy,” said April Guinchard of the lack of a support crew. “If we had to do it all over again, we’d do it without the driver. Fewer people in the RV would have been better.”

“They were definitely one of the friendliest teams in the race,” commented Colleen Shannon, one of the headquarters staff who spoke with them by telephone at many of the 57 time stations along the route.

High points of the team’s experience, according to Guinchard, were: “The cameraderie. Laughing and sharing stories.” Almost uncharacteristic for a trans-national road trip, there were practically no cross words exchanged along the route. “There were a few minor things, trying to stay on the route, but more fun snipes than anything else. We’ve all been friends for too long to jeopardize that,” Guinchard explained.

Early in the race, team member Mike Pallisco got ill with dehydration and at one point required a hospital visit. For two full days the team rode with only seven riders.

As for the team’s corporate status, it relies on a very loose definition of the term and according to team members, the name is a tribute to the character of a certain Ernest “Hey Vern” Worrell who grabbed viewers’ attention with the catchphrase: “KnowwhutImean?”

In a brief lapse into seriousness, team member Tom Cassidy said of the RAAM crossing: “It was awesome, the experience of a lifetime.”


Soloist Chris MacDonald
By Chris Milliman

It seems an odd thing to dawn on you during a bike race, but with two days left to go in the 2005 Insight Race Across America Chris MacDonald realized he had to race his bike if he wanted to hold onto second place. Suffering from the oppressive Midwest heat wave, MacDonald opted for a strategy of sleeping during the hottest parts of the day, and he ended up sleeping more than his next nearest rival, Italy’s Fabio Biasiolo. Biasiolo used the opportunity to catch and pass MacDonald, putting the 32-year-old American under pressure to race hard.

In a race in which riders are often separated by time zones, two riders passing each other back and forth creates an unusual, and sometimes volatile, situation. MacDonald was forced out of midday break when his crew reported Biasiolo had just sped past, his strategy out the window.

“We had a unique thing going on,” said MacDonald. “We were racing each other and right until the last day we could even see each other. He’s a good bike racer and you could feel that. I expected he was down for the count several times.”

MacDonald finally broke Biasiolo during the penultimate day, putting two hour into the Italian. The margin bulged to over six hours by the time MacDonald crossed the finish in 10 days, 2 hours, 1 minute. MacDonald’s second-place marks a tremendous accomplishment for the first-time RAAM rider, and while he hedged about his intentions to return, he admitted that the lessons learned about the event’s unique style of racing could be key to moving up one spot on the finishing podium.





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RAAM 2005 — Team Insight Update

June 28, 2005 – Here are today’s latest standings of the RAAM:

Women’s Solo
Having pedaled 2517.8 so far, Anna Catharina Berg is nearly at the finishing stretch but before that, she still has to assail the mountains of West Virginia. Berg passed through Time Station #45 in Athens, Ohio at 16:23. Berg has 533.9 miles until the finish.

Men’s Solo
With a large crowd gathered in front of Boardwalk Hall, Jurie Robic finished RAAM in 9 days, 8 hours and 48 minutes (unofficial) (Stay tuned for more on Jure Robic. Story to be distributed shortly). Today Fabio Biasolo passed off -no doubt reluctantly -second-place to Chris MacDonald. MacDonald passed 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 over Grupo 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-625 miles from the finish–at 16:25.

Two-person Men’s Division
Team Lower Austria-Krems just crossed the finish line and takes first place in the Two-person Men’s Division. Check www.raceacrossamerica.org/racestats/report.aspx?report=RiderInfo&RiderId=406 for final results for Team Lower Austria-Krems. Team Crazy Gones stays steady in the second-place position. The Crazy Gones checked in last from Time Station #52 in Rouzerville, Pa. at 15:06. Crazy Gones have pedaled 2837.2 miles so far with 214.7 miles yet to go. Team 60+ hangs tough in third 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 this afternoon at 14:08 with a time of 6 days, 20 hours, 57 minutes. In the number two spot, Landis Team Phoenix has just arrived at the finish line. Check http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/racestats/report.aspx?report=RiderInfo&RiderId=406 for 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=RiderInfo&RiderId=406 for 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 Atlantic City’s boardwalk became brisk within the last 24 hours. Swiss team IWC Schaffhausen wrapped up RAAM in second place June 27 at 16:07 with a time of 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 crossing the 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 12:47 with a time of 6 days, 19 hours, 36 minutes. Nearly back-to-back finishes brought in Team 3V at 15:23 with a time of 6 days, 22 hours, 12 minutes and 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 established a record for their transcont crossing of 6 days, 3 hours, 26 minutes. (story below) Category runner-up Team JDRF VeloKraft cruised across the finish today 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 first place 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-setting goals for average speed and sub-six day transcont crossing. (see story below) Second-place Team Donate Life reached the finish a few hours later at 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” section on the homepage of www.raceacrossamerica.org

All race times are in EST; stay tuned to www.raceacrossamerica.org for race reports and photos.



Today’s Top Stories

V3 Team – Great Britain
By Paul Skilbeck
A former professional soccer player was one of three Britons and an American making up Team 3V, which finished 6th out of 8 in the Four Person Male 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 an inspirational 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 get back on the bike at 2 a.m., that is incredibly tough.
This is physically the hardest thing I have done. It has opened my eyes to endurance racing. It takes tremendous mental and inner strength to cope with all the stresses this race puts on you.”

Cleminson currently sponsors an elite junior cycle racing team that includes 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 triallists to have a shot at the record (average speed 23.06 mph).”

Cleminson, who owns the Bike Trax cycle shop, is a former Fulham FC professional soccer player who lists as his most cherished athletic feats scoring a goal against Chelsea and playing with George Best. RAAM may be not far down his list, having given him “something to treasure, a great memory.”
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Mobile Medics
By Wendy Booher
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (8:49 EDT June 28, 2005) The eight-doctor Team 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 the announcement of Bob Breedlove’s death. After notifying HQ, teams could take more time if they desired.

With over 50 years’-worth of collective medical experience and months of training in their legs, team spokesperson, Eric Heiden, called upon their job requirements as perhaps the best training for RAAM.

“Because so many of us were involved in ancillary treatments,” explained Heiden, “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, 15 hours, 28 minutes
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Getting IT Done: Team Insight Wins Corporate Category
By Wendy Booher
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (4:54 June 28, 2005) The problem with sponsoring your own race is entering your own team — what if they don’t win? Early this morning Team Insight hushed skeptics when they arrived in first place for the corporate category.

RAAM, a race characterized by constantly changing calculations, offered the team of protean IT professionals an outlet where to expend all that left-brain power. Dependent on terrain, Team Insight enlisted the best man 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 energy left 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 of West Virginia might have deterred the team from achieving their goals. Team Insight missed the average speed record of 19.84 mph by a slim 24 mph. 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 line in Atlantic City so keep watch over teams arriving throughout the day. Next up at 10 a.m. Team JDRF VeloKraft, followed by Team Inspiration GB at 10:18 and Team Donate Life at 10:23.
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New RAAM Record Set by ALS – Bacchetta
By Wendy Booher
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (20:37 EDT) Whenever a new RAAM category gets established, the winning team earns the distinction of setting a new RAAM record–even if it’s the only team in the category. In a classic “Ford vs. Chevy” rivalry, this time two teams riding singular bikes from competing manufacturers entered the category for a four-person recumbent.
Tonight at 20:37, Team ALS – Bacchetta became the record-setting team for the new RAAM category.

The team of Tim Woudenberg, Karta Purkh Atehortua, Phil Plath and John Schlitter of ALS – Bacchetta completed the 3051.7 miles of RAAM in 6 days, 3 hours, 26 minutes. Stay tuned, more to come about ALS – Bacchetta!
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Swiss Power
By Wendy Booher
ATLANTIC CITY (16:07 EDT, June 27, 2005) In the final 24 hours of RAAM, a strategically-timed “night attack” in the mountains of West Virginia launched Team IWC Schaffhausen from third place, three minutes down from The Kern Wheelmen – Advocare, into second place with a three hour lead. The Kern Wheelmen – Advocare fought hard to keep IWC Schaffhausen behind them but the Swiss team scanned ahead for an opportunity to overcome the Kern Wheelmen for once and for all.

“After 4,000 kilometers, we could still see them!” exclaimed IWC Schaffhausen Team Manager, Gunter Wagner. “We talked about how to use our performance, about how to use our resources to see how we could catch them on the last night in the Appalachians. We knew we were better on the climbs and we used this to our advantage.”

Team IWC Schaffhausen crossed the finish line at 16:07 with a time of 5 days, 22 hours, 56 minutes.

Much Gusto from Mucho Gusto
By Chris Milliman
Every racer has his or her dark moment in the Insight Race Across America, it just depends when it’s going to happen and how bad it will be. For Team Mucho Gusto, a four-man team from Denver, Colorado, that moment came midway through day three when one of its riders, Shannon Gillespie, suffered from heat exhaustion that required two trips to the hospital and 16 hours out of the race. But as with many RAAM stories, this one has a happy ending: all four members of Team Mucho Gusto crossed the finish line this afternoon in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Denver quartet stopped the clock at 6 days, 23 hours, and 13 minutes, good enough for seventh place in their division.

Team Mucho Gusto consisted of Chip Hassan, George Hagerman, Evan Zucker, and Gillespie. According to Hagerman, day three was the most challenging for reasons other than Gillespie’s illness.

“Looking at the mileage, we were only a third of the way into the race,” said Hagerman, “and we were already tired. Every rider seemed to have a bad spell, but they never happened at the same time and that was important.”






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RAAM 2005 — Team Insight Update

June 27, 2005 – Here are today’s latest standings of the RAAM:

Women’s Solo
Consistent as ever as she presses eastward, Anna Catharina Berg last reported in from Time Station #40 in Indianapolis, Indiana at 15:23. Having covered already 2257 miles in RAAM only 794.7 remain for Berg.

Men’s Solo
By late afternoon June 28, Jure Robic will have successfully defended last year’s RAAM victory. In shrewd showboat fashion, Robic will likely ride into a throng of fans, supporters and onlookers here to marvel at the transcontinental racer. With 353.3 miles to go, Robic last reported in from Time Station #49 in Gormania, WV at 12:37. Second-place Fabio Biasolo checked in from Time Station #46 in Parkersburg, WV at 14:22. Just one hour later, Chris MacDonald passed through Parkersburg at 15:25. Both Biasolo and MacDonald have ridden 2558.5 with 493.2 to go.

Two-person Mixed Division
ALERT! Shanna Armstrong and Guy Wells of Team Endorphins have overtaken and now lead the Two-person Mixed category. Team Endorphins passed through Time Station #36 in Greenville, Illinois at 12:45. But hold your applause, Endorphins fans. Just 21 minutes down, Grupo Guapo called in from Greenville at 13:06. Both teams have pedaled 2058.3 miles with 993.4 still to go.

Two-person Men’s Division
First-place Team Lower Austria-Krems reported in from Time Station #46 in Parkersburg, WV at 13:08. So far the team has gone 2558.5 miles with 493.2 to go. Although it has been reported into RAAM HQ that Team Crazy Gones has suffered some equipment and health problems in their transcontinental challenge, the team still holds the second-place position. The Crazy Gones checked in last from Time Station #44 in Laurelville, Ohio at 15:15. Crazy Gones have pedaled 2476.9 miles so far with 574.8 yet to go. Team 60+ is snug in third having ridden already 2159.9 miles with 891.8 to go. Team 60+ passed through Time Station #38 in Marshall, Illinois at 15:05.

Four-person Mixed Division
Cheniere’s Making Cancer History seems to be making a point of keeping second-place Landis Team Phoenix at least one time station back. Making Cancer History checked in from Time Station #48 in Grafton, WV at 14:50. About one hour earlier and one time station back, Landis Team Phoenix checked in from Smithburg, WV at 14:40.

Four-person Women’s Division
Roaring Fork Volvo B2B Divas. The ladies from Vail might feel at home heading into the mountains of West Virginia. They last checked in from Times Station #47 in Smithburg, WV at 16:39. Moving steadily along, The Divas have ridden more than 2607.2 miles with less than 444.5 miles left to go.

Four-person Men’s Division
Beaver Creek – Vail became the first team to cross the finish line in this year’s RAAM. Mike Janelle, Toph Leonard, Jimi Mortenson, and Brian Smith of Beaver Creek – Vail arrived in Atlantic City today at 11:26 EDT with a finishing time of 5 days, 18 hours, 15 minutes. (see story below) At time of release, Team IWC Schaffhausen became the second team to reach the finish line today. Within the last 24 hours IWC Schaffhausen bridged a narrow gap with second-place Kern Wheelmen – Advocare. A strategically-timed “night attack” in West Virginia by IWC Schaffhausen launched them into second place and helped them put more than three hours into the Kern Wheelmen. IWC Schaffhausen’s finished RAAM at 16:07 with a time of 5 days, 22 hours, 56 minutes. On deck, the Kern Wheelmen – Advocare are scheduled to arrive in Atlantic City at approximately 19:50.

Four-person Recumbent
Closing in on the finish and a World RAAM Record for a four-person recumbent team, ALS-Bacchetta called in from Time Station #54 in Georgetown, Pa. at 15:15. With only 110.1 miles to go, ALS – Bacchetta should cross the finish line tonight at approximately 20:34. Team JDRF VeloKraft rides steadily eastward from Time Station #50 in La Vale, Md. where they checked in at 16:12. There are only 307 miles to go for JDRF VeloKraft.

Corporate Teams
Not to be accused of giving fans a “sleeper” race, Team Insight is on course to tidily cruise into a category victory at approximately 4:13 tomorrow morning. With 214.5 miles to go Team Insight last checked in from Time Station #52 in Rouzerville, Pa. at 17:20. Eric Heiden’s Team Donate Life reached Time Station 50 in La Vale, Md. at 16:28. Without a backward glance, Team Vern’s Inc. continues to open the gap over Team Dry Heat. Team Vern’s Inc. last called in from Times Station #44 in Laurelville, Ohio at 15:20.

For up-to-the-moment race progress, visit the “Timestation Info” section on the homepage of www.raceacrossamerica.org

All race times are in EST; stay tuned to www.raceacrossamerica.org for race reports and photos.


Today’s Top Stories:

Beaver Creek – Vail Becomes First Team to Cross Finish Line in RAAM
By Wendy Booher

11:26 EDT Riding 3051.7 miles from San Diego to Atlantic City seems only to have improved the rugged good looks of Team Beaver Creek – Vail. The haggard but still smiling team of Mike Janelle, Toph Leonard, Jimi Mortenson, and Brian Smith became the first team to cross the finish line in this year’s RAAM with a finishing time of 5 days, 18 hours, 15 minutes.

Remarked for their seamless transition between riders, the team–comprised of four routine 24-hour mountain bike racers–moved across country with locomotive rhythm despite oppressive humidity bearing down on them through much of the race.

“Transition is a very important part of the race,” said Toph Leonard. “You need to stay away from high speeds to be able to maintain a consistent speed. The whole idea is to get a rider out on the road, preferably on a hill, and build up speed from there.”

Early on in the race, Jimi Mortenson suffered a hurt knee while crossing through Arizona. Despite his claim to being the “weak link,” Mortenson has the most experience of anyone on the team with three RAAM entries. Both returning RAAM racers, Mortenson and Janelle’s past RAAM experiences proved invaluable in sustaining a winning pace.

From the start, this year’s Vail team rode a record-setting pace until nearly Indiana when perhaps insufferable temperatures slowed the team. Unlike last year, this year’s RAAM features an additional 7,000 feet of climbing plus 100 extra miles over last year’s race. Considering hampering factors like daily temperatures in the 90s, 110,000-feet of climbing and the added mileage, Beaver Creek – Vail maintained an average pace of roughly around 22 mph.

The next team expected to arrive is the four-man team IWC Schaffhausen at 16:34 this afternoon. Stay tuned to www.raceacrossamerica.org for up-to-the-minute race information
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Jure Robic
By Chris Milliman

Jure’ Robic’s grizzled, sun baked body resisted. It wanted to stay on the soft grass, out of the sun, relaxed by the side of the road in Athens, Ohio. But the mind of the Insight Race Across America’s defending champion had other ideas. So Robic rose, with the help of two crewmembers, threw a leg over his Italian race bike, and pedaled on the down the road as he has for the previous seven-and-a-half days, towards time station 45.

With the departure of second place Mike Trevino from the race earlier in the day, Robic’s second consecutive RAAM win seemed all but assured as his margin over new second position man Fabio Biasiolo stood at nearly 15 hours. But losing a rival, even one who was falling farther behind with each passing day, seemed to have unintended consequences for the strong man from Slovenia.

“He’s disappointed, he expected a tough race,” said Matjiz Planinsek, one of Robic’s crewmembers. “There’s no pressure on him now, and when you have pressure it’s easier for you to fight.”

And without that pressure from behind, perceived or real, the drive to maintain the infernal pace of the race’s first week waned, if only momentarily, from the 40-year-old soldier. With time not an issue, Robic stopped for an unscheduled rest in Athens after consulting with his crew. It gave the Slovenian support crew a much needed break, allowed the mechanic time to air up a new set of tires, and seemed to create an atmosphere of reflection on the 2,500 miles already ridden and the 500 to come.

The Heat By Chris Milliman

When the final story of the 2005 Insight Race Across America is written, the infernal heat of this year’s race will be one of the main characters. Since the racers left the temperate seaside breezes of San Diego last Sunday, the day-time temperatures have seldom dropped below 90, and the relative humidity has climbed as the race has moved east. The blast furnace triple digit heat of the desert might have seemed the hottest the race could get, but stultifying days in the Midwest have proved that heat comes in many varieties, all equally potent.

The desert heat caused many riders respiratory distress, several racers contracted pneumonia and Austrian Alexander Gepp lost his voice after the Sonorran Desert on day one. The conditions in the high air of the Rocky Mountains may have seemed a respite, but the effects of dehydration at elevation, with temps still in the low-90s, kept the cumulative fatigue and fluid intake conundrum in play.

The Midwest proved an unwelcome surprise. Hot, humid conditions blanketed the prairies and farmland, giving riders no place other than the air conditioned shelter of their RV for respite. Some riders, JurÈ Robic in particular, have flourished in the heat, while others, like Chris MacDonald, have found the unending string of days in a cross-country sauna more than their bodies and minds were prepared for.
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About Insight
Insight North America Inc. (“Insight”), title sponsor of the Insight Bowl and the Insight Race Across America, is a leading single source provider of IT products and services to businesses, government and educational institutions in the United States and Canada. Insight’s offerings span the entire IT lifecycle with more than 200,000 name-brand hardware, software and peripherals — the largest selection in the industry — along with a full line of services tailored to support the changing and unique needs of technology buyers. Insight is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insight Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq:NSIT), ranked No. 537 on Fortune Magazine’s 2004 “Fortune 1000” list. For additional information, call 480-902-1001 or visit www.insight.com.

About Insight Race Across America
The Insight Race Across America has run every year since 1982, and since 2003 has followed its current route from San Diego, California to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Outside Magazine has called it “The World’s Toughest Race,” and others have described it as “The Tour de France done the American way”. Top individual racers pedal roughly 350 miles per day, burning 9,000+ calories and sleeping just 90 minutes. Two-person and four-person relays comprising men and women race non-stop, covering over 500 miles per day. The race’s senior management and ownership is in the hands of Race Director Jim Pitre, current co-holder of the 2-person 55+ Team record, and Head Official Lon Haldeman, two-time solo winner in 1982 and 1983. For further background and race history, please visit www.raceacrossamerica.org.





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RAAM 2005 — Team Insight Update

June 26, 2005 – Here is the latest update on the 2005 RAAM:

Women’s Solo

Anna Catharina Berg, A seemingly upbeat Berg hangs in 8th place overall in the solo category. She last reported in from Times Station #35 at the Mississippi River at 15:40. With more than 2/3s of RAAM, or 2012.2 miles behind her, Berg has 1039.5 miles to go.

Men’s Solo
At more than 15 hours in the lead of the Men’s Solo category, only
something completely unexpected could wrest first place from Jure Robic.
Robic last reported in from Time Station #44 in Laurelville, Ohio at 15:22.

There are 574.8 miles still to go for Robic until the finish line in
Atlantic City. The announcement that second-place Mike Trevino would
withdraw from the race came into HQ at 11 this morning. News came that a
separated shoulder forced Trevino to end his race. With Trevino out, Fabio
Biasolo moves up a spot into second place. Biasolo checked in from Time
Station #40 in Indianapolis, Indiana at 12:36 having ridden 2257 miles so
far with 794.7 miles to go. New to third place and only hours behind
Biasolo, Chris MacDonald passed through Indianapolis at 15:22.

Two-person Mixed Division

Now down to two teams, Grupo Guapo manages to stay at least one Time
Station ahead of Team Endorphins. Grupo Guapo reached Time Station #32 in
Camdenton, Missouri at 17:28. Iva Hradilova and John Wagoner of Grupo Guapo have ridden 1809.6 miles with 1242.1 miles to go. Team Endorphins passed through Time Station #31 in Collins, Missouri at 15:16. Team Endorphins has put behind them 1755.9 miles with 1295.8 miles still to come.

Two-person Men’s Division
In first place, Team Lower Austria-Krems reported in from Time Station #39
in Putnamville, Indiana at 16:35. So far the team has gone 2209.5 miles
with 842.2 to go. The plucky French team, Crazy Gones, checked in last from
Time Station #36 in Greenville, Illinois at 15:11. Crazy Gones have pedaled 2058.3 miles so far with 993.4 yet to come. Daniel Crain and Fred Boethling of Team 60+ stay safely in third place having ridden already 1809.6 miles with 1242.1 to go. Team 60+ passed through Time Station #32, Camdenton,
Missouri at 16:28.

Four-person Mixed Division
Cheniere’s Making Cancer History continues to grow a lead over second-place Landis Team Phoenix. Making Cancer History called in from Times Staion #40 in Indianapolis, Indiana at 17:40. Trailing by a little over an hour,
Landis Team Phoenix checked in at Indianapolis at 18:29.

Four-person Women’s Division
Roaring Fork Volvo B2B Divas, The Divas are successfully raising their
speed and lowering their time in a race against themselves. The Divas have
roughly two more days of riding until they reach the finish line. The team
checked in this afternoon at 16:00 from Time Station #38 in Marshall,
Illinois.

Four-person Men’s Division
Finish line preparations are underway to welcome in first team, Beaver
Creek-Vail, scheduled to arrive Monday morning at about 7:30. Currently
stomping their pedals on the mountains of West Virginia, Beaver Creek –
Vail checked in from Times Station #49 in Gormania, WV at 17:20. Team IWC
Schaffhausen has succeeded in bridging a 35 minute gap behind Team Kern
Wheelmen-Advocare to just three minutes! At Time Station #47 in Smithburg,
WV. the Kern Wheelmen – Advocare called in at 17:28 and IWC Schaffhausen at 17:31. Stay tuned!

Four-person Recumbent
Team ALS-Bacchetta seems to be speeding things up as it was reported this
afternoon that the team had indeed increased its speed as it headed into
the final third of RAAM. With an average pace of 21.24 mph, ALS – Bacchetta passed through Time Station #45 in Athens, Ohio at 15:45. Behind them, Team JDRF VeloKraft checked in from Time Station #41 in Cambridge City, Indiana
at 15:32.

Corporate Teams
Safely in the lead of the Corporate Category, Team Insight continues to
ride a record-setting pace of 20.03 mph, Team Insight last checked in from
Time Station #42 in Troy, Ohio at 15:53. So far Team Insight has covered
2374.5 miles with 677.2 left to go. In the runner-up position, Team Donate
Life called in from TS 41 in Cambridge City, Indiana at 17:14. Team Vern’s
Inc. continues to hold a lead over Team Dry Heat. Team Vern’s Inc. last
called in from Times Station #36 in Greenville, Illinois at 15:00.

For up-to-the-moment race progress, visit the “Timestation Info” section on the homepage of www.raceacrossamerica.org

All race times are in EST; stay tuned to www.raceacrossamerica.org for race
reports and photos.

Team 60+

Hackneyed, worn-out, “old” story lines seem to cling to two-man Team 60+.

“Two guys, both 60 years old, reinvigorated by bicycling decide to do
something wacky and so they enter RAAM.”

But get this, Daniel Crain and Fred Boethling, started riding bikes before
there was an Interstate system, before there was “mountain biking,” and
before Europeans would even let an American race in one of their races. Of
course they were both kids at the time and not long after, bike riding
faded from their lives while they pursued careers and families.

Crain and Boethling each renewed their interest in cycling in the mid 90s
and since then they have built impressive resumes with many victories for
ultra-distance cycling.

“Although ultra-distance cycling is a sort of craziness,” said Crain, “it’s what keeps me sane.”

With a nod toward Lance Armstrong’s success in beating cancer, both racers
cite Armstrong as their greatest influence. A cancer survivor himself,
Boethling crafted an energetic bio for the RAAM website that gives readers
the impression that this guy has gotten a new lease on life.

Given their ages, Cain and Boethling possess the mental strength to
overcome their years and the cache to prove that clichés apply: “Life is an adventure. Life is short, don’t waste it, live well.live every day as though it were your last, but take time to smell the roses.be all you can be.leave the world a better place.”

Unavailable for comment by phone, at time of release Team 60+ last checked
in from Time Station #30 at Fort Scott, Kansas at 9:28 EST. So far they
have covered 1693.9 miles with 1357.8 left to go.





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RAAM 2005 — Team Insight Update

June 26, 2005 (Cadmenton, Missouri) — On June 25, 2005 the eight-person corporate Team Insight revealed their race strategy, which they hope will help them break not one, but two RAAM records. In reality, not much has changed from the team’s three RAAM campaigns except for their desire set new corporate category records for average speed and total time.

“We have two teams of four riders,” explained crew chief, Nancy Birdwell. “The each do eight-hour shifts where the team that’s off travels up the road roughly the distance they predict the other team will cover. They get a hotel room, gas up, get food, showers and sleep three-five hours.”

Birdwell hesitantly detailed the protocol for the team, which features six returning racers and two newcomers. Last year’s team arrived in Atlantic City in second place behind record-setting R2R Kaiser Permanente, which averaged a record speed of 19.84 mph. Insight seems to have a firm hold on a new record with their current 20.10 mph average pace but what Insight truly has its sights set on is a total time record.

“We are attempting to break the six-day record,” said Birdwell. Birdwell added that this year’s course with its increased distance and greater elevation gains might hamper their goal. So far, all systems are go from the cockpit of Team Insight and with runner-up, Team Donate Life, trailing by four hours, Insight looks likely to check off a category victory along with potentially two records.

DNF
Rob Kish
Late on the night of Thursday June 23, seasoned rider Rob Kish dropped out of the Insight Race Across America due to medical reasons. After two visits to the hospital, doctors confirmed that Kish had severe pneumonia. Kish described his past couple days of riding as being very difficult with strenuous breathing, only being able to take in short, shallow gasps of air. Taking a sip of water proved to be difficult, prohibiting him from gasping for air during the short period of time.

Kish and his team went to a small motel to regroup and support each other, especially in light of the tragic death of a good friend Bob Breedlove. Kish is 50 years old and this was his 20th RAAM, totaling well over 50,000 RAAM race miles. Race Director Jim Pitre said, “In true RAAM tradition, Rob refused to quit until absolutely forced to do so.” Pitre spent time with Kish last night, and stated that he hoped Kish would be well enough to attend the awards banquet in Atlantic City on June 29th.

Marko Baloh
RAAM Solo Racer Marko Baloh withdrew from RAAM on Friday, June 24 at 17:58 EST. Early in the afternoon, Baloh checked himself into a hospital in Iola, Kansas. An attending physician diagnosed Baloh with respiratory pneumonia and recommended that he withdraw from the race. On the sound advice of the doctor, Baloh called in his decision and said that he would travel to the finish line in Atlantic City, N.J.

RAAM veteran, Steve Born, who had been overseeing Baloh’s nutritional strategy for the race plus providing tips learned from his past RAAMs, explained the effect illness has on a RAAM racer.

“Once you’re sick with something that severe,” said Born, “you’re never going to continue if the nature of the race is to ride 20-22 hours a day. If you suppress your immune system and there’s no time for recovery, there is really not a lot you can do except give the body the rest it needs to
recover.”

Alessandro Colo
Later the same day RAAM HQ in Atlantic City received intel on latest DNF, Alessandro Colo, who announced his withdrawal from RAAM at 22:06 EST. Colo, it was reported, had drained his bank account and with no more “flow” to make his race go, Colo decided to end his RAAM campaign in the charitable community of Pratt, Kansas.

Here are the RAAM Category Standings as of 6 p.m. EST, June 25, 2005 (All race times are in Eastern Standard Time).

Women’s Solo
Anna Catharina Berg, Berg continues to show strong legs each day. At 15:36 today, Berg traveled through Time Station #31, Collins, Missouri. So far she has put 1755.9 miles behind her with 1295.8 miles left until the finish
in Atlantic City.

Men’s Solo
Jure Robic seems to have first place sewn up for the moment. Robic last reported in from Time Station #38 in Marshall, Ill. at 14:20. He has less than 1,000 miles to ride to the finish but the mountains of West Virginia””the Mountain State””can often frustrate unsuspecting racers.

Second-place Mike Trevino crossed the Mississippi River at 13:33 this afternoon. Trevino has covered 2012.2 miles with 1039.5 to go. With Marko Baloh withdrawing from the race with acute respiratory pneumonia, Fabio Biasolo moves into third place. Biasolo checked in from Time Station #34, Marthasville, Missouri at 12:30 having ridden 1943.1 miles so far with 1108.6 to go.

Two-person Mixed Division
With all three teams chugging along across Kansas, Grupo Guapo continues to maintain its lead over second place, Team Endorphins, with the Free Riders turning the pedals in third place. Grupo Guapo reached Time Station #26 in Pratt, Kansas at 17:29; they have ridden 1457.7 miles with 1594.0 miles to go. Team Endorphins passed through Time Station #24 in Montezuma, Kansas at 13:52. Team Endorphins has put behind them 1356.1 miles with 1695.6 miles still to come. The Free Riders called in from Time Station #23 in Ulyssees, Kansas at 16:47; they have pedaled 1305.5 miles with 1746.2 left to go.

Two-person Men’s Division
Team Lower Austria-Krems stays steady in front having exited Kansas today. The team reported in from Time Station #31 in Collins, Missouri at 15:05. So far the team has gone 1755.9 miles and has yet to ride 1295.8 more miles. Nearly at the border of Kansas and Missouri, Team Crazy Gones called in from Time Station #30 in Fort Scott, Kansas at 16:30. Crazy Gones have packed in 1693.9 miles so far with 1357.8 still to come. Team 60+ hangs onto third place but could be set back slightly by a penalty for not calling in at Time Station #24 in Montezuma, Kansas.

Four-person Mixed Division
Cheniere’s Making Cancer History succeeded in putting first place Landis Team Phoenix behind them by only 32 minutes at last check. Both teams called in from Times Staion #32 in Camdenton, Missouri with Making Cancer History posting a time check at 17:18 and Landis Team Phoenix at 17:50. Pay attention, ladies and gentlemen, this could be the race that comes down to the line in Atlantic City.

Four-person Women’s Division
Roaring Fork Volvo B2B Divas, with nothing controversial to report, the Divas race against themselves (perhaps in an effort to best last year’s average speed?). The Divas last reported in from Time Station #30 in Fort Scott, Kansas at 14:39.

Four-person Men’s Division
Team Beaver Creek-Vail overtook Men’s Solo leader, Jure Robic, just past 17:00 this evening. Two veteran officials monitoring the Vail racers told of an awe-inspiring team that rotated racers through a non-stop paceline with expert efficiency. On course for an average speed record, Beaver Creek — Vail checked in from Times Station #39 in Putnamville, Indiana at 17:39. Having already ridden 2209.5 miles, the gentlemen from Vail have just 842.2 miles to go in this year’s RAAM. In a race for second place Team Kern Wheelmen-Advocare sustains a narrow lead over Team IWC Schaffhausen with both teams checking in from Time Station #36 in Greenville, Illinois just 35 minutes apart.

Four-person Recumbent
Team ALS-Bacchetta sits comfortably in the lead with Team JDRF VeloKraft trailing by more than five hours. At time of release, ALS — Bacchetta had checked in from Time Station #36 in Greenville, Illinois at 18:12; JDRF VeloKraft was last heard from at Time Station #33 in Jefferson City, Missouri at 14:57.

Corporate Teams
Team Insight seeks to set two records in this year’s RAAM: one for average speed and the other for completing the race in under six days. So far Team Insight shows promise to break the average speed record but with more mileage and greater elevation gains in this year’s race, record #2 might elude the team. Riding with a record-setting pace of 20.1 mph, Team Insight last checked in from Time Station #34 in Marthasville, Missouri at 17:41. In the runner-up position, Team Donate Life called in from TS 33 in Jefferson City, Missouri at 17:52. Team Vern’s Inc. appears to have passed Team Dry Heat and even opened up a 90-minute gap over Dry Heat. Vern’s Inc. last called in from Times Station #30 in Fort Scott, Kansas at 18:02.

For up-to-the-moment race progress, visit the “Timestation Info” section on the homepage of www.raceacrossamerica.org

All race times are in EST; stay tuned to www.raceacrossamerica.org for race reports and photos.

About Insight Race Across America:
The Insight Race Across America has run every year since 1982, and since 2003 has followed its current route from San Diego, California to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Outside Magazine has called it “The World’s Toughest Race,” and others have described it as “The Tour de France done the American way”. Top individual racers pedal roughly 350 miles per day, burning 9,000+ calories and sleeping just 90 minutes. Two-person and four-person relays comprising men and women race non-stop, covering over 500 miles per day. The race’s senior management and ownership is in the hands of Race Director Jim Pitre, current co-holder of the 2-person 55+ Team record, and Head Official Lon Haldeman, two-time solo winner in 1982 and 1983.

For further background and race history, please visit
www.raceacrossamerica.org.







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